Monthly Archives: December 2007
Dec 31st, 2007


Ekundayo finishing “Barbara”

************************We will be running a regular schedule tomorrow********************
New Year’s Day 9a.m. and 10a.m. classes only, followed by a FREE Community Day Workout at 11a.m. for all of you who want to come in and get a taste of CFO!!!!

Also, on New Year’s Day, we will be having a Spicy Wing Contest (BYOB) at 3pm.
EVERYONEis welcome to come!

Post reflections on the CFO community to comments.

Comments: 11
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Dec 30th, 2007

Happy Birthday, Melissa!


Melissa celebrating her birthday with a few other familiar faces from CFO

Melissa, who many of you know as one of CFO’s most consistent athletes (with plenty to show for her consistent effort: kipping pull-ups, a vastly improved overhead squat, and the ability to do push-ups ’til the cows come home, to name just a few), had her birthday this past Thursday.

And tonight she celebrated it at Pizzaiolo.

Happy birthday, Melissa!

Post birthday wishes to Melissa and a creative caption for the photo above to comments (notice Annie with a huge wad of cash in hand).

Comments: 5
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Dec 29th, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions


“Happy New Year!” That greeting will be said and heard for at least the first couple of weeks as a new year gets under way. But the day celebrated as New Year’s Day in modern America was not always January 1.

A little history on our upcoming holiday:

The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible cresent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).

The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.

The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year’s Eve festivities pale in comparison.

The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.

In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the new year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.

Although in the first centuries AD the Romans continued celebrating the new year, the early Catholic Church condemned the festivities as paganism. But as Christianity became more widespread, the early church began having its own religious observances concurrently with many of the pagan celebrations, and New Year’s Day was no different. New Years is still observed as the Feast of Christ’s Circumcision by some denominations.

During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years. January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.

Other traditions of the season include the making of New Year’s resolutions. That tradition also dates back to the early Babylonians. Popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking. The early Babylonian’s most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.

The Tournament of Roses Parade dates back to 1886. In that year, members of the Valley Hunt Club decorated their carriages with flowers. It celebrated the ripening of the orange crop in California.

Although the Rose Bowl football game was first played as a part of the Tournament of Roses in 1902, it was replaced by Roman chariot races the following year. In 1916, the football game returned as the sports centerpiece of the festival.

The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600 BC. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.

Although the early Christians denounced the practice as pagan, the popularity of the baby as a symbol of rebirth forced the Church to reevaluate its position. The Church finally allowed its members to celebrate the new year with a baby, which was to symbolize the birth of the baby Jesus.

The use of an image of a baby with a New Years banner as a symbolic representation of the new year was brought to early America by the Germans. They had used the effigy since the fourteenth century.

Traditionally, it was thought that one could affect the luck they would have throughout the coming year by what they did or ate on the first day of the year. For that reason, it has become common for folks to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. Parties often last into the middle of the night after the ringing in of a new year. It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year. It was particularly lucky if that visitor happened to be a tall dark-haired man.

Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes “coming full circle,” completing a year’s cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year’s Day will bring good fortune.

Many parts of the U.S. celebrate the new year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another “good luck” vegetable that is consumed on New Year’s Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year’s Day.

At CFO, we will use good old spicy chicken wings and beer, and for your pagan enjoyment will have (and keep) our New Year’s Resolution board for all to see!


Post your CF related (or non-related if you feel like sharing) New Year resolutions to comments.

Comments: 2
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Dec 28th, 2007

And the winner is…


(Our apologies to Michael for the old picture; we’ll get an updated photo of him within the next couple of days.)

…Michael Gardner by a landslide! It wasn’t even close.

As many of you know from Nicole’s post last month, Michael set a goal of getting a muscle-up by his birthday on May 30, 2008, which is still 6 months away.

Well today, in front of a nice little crowd at the 5pm class, Michael got his first muscle-up (unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera on hand)! And he made it look so easy.

In addition to getting his first muscle-up way ahead of schedule, Michael also wins the bet that we had. Instead of getting a free month of training, though, Michael has asked that we donate his winnings to a charity of our choice.

(And just so you all know, Michael’s progress has been accelerated by really tightening up his diet; he started zoning a couple months ago and it’s made a huge impact on his fitness level.)

Check back in on the blog in a couple of days; we’ll put together a video of him getting his second muscle-up.

For now, though, let’s congratulate Michael on his great achievement in comments.

Comments: 16
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Dec 27th, 2007

New in 2008!

Jen of the Berkeley Fire Department

In the new year (sometime mid-January) we will be offering a Firefighters’ CrossFit class at 8:30 a.m. (Monday thru Friday) for all of our Berkeley and Oakland Firefighters who are interested in training immediately following their shift change.

We are always open to hearing what other class times may be useful for all of our members. If there are enough people who are interested we can always give it a try!

Post your new CFO class times wish list to comments.

Comments: 4
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Dec 26th, 2007

New Year’s Day Reminder


Mmmmm…hot wings!

Just a quick reminder, everyone: we’re having a hot wings party at CFO on New Year’s (Jan 1) beginning at 5pm. Bring your best plate of wings and join us for lots of wings and beer as we usher in the new year.

In addition, we’ll be holding a free Community Day Workout at 11am on the 1st. Also take note that we’ll be running our weekend schedule (9am and 10am only).

And finally…Merry Christmas to all!

Comments: 2
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Dec 25th, 2007

Survivor Girl: Zone Meal by Any Means Necessary

This morning as the temperature dropped to 25 degrees F and the gail winds blew six foot icicles from the trees around our rural cabin the lights began to blink on and off and then, darkness all around. No power. No heat, and more importantly, with four young children in my care–no stove to cook breakfast! With stomachs rumbling and blood sugar quickly dropping, I summoned my inner Survivor Girl and whipped up a Zone breakfast on the dying embers of our fire saving us all from eminent starvation!

Post your tall tale survivor stories to comments. And Merry Christmas everyone!
Zone Meal By Any Means Necessary
Final Product: Scambled Eggs, Dried Thai Chili, Hunk-o-Avocado, and an Asian Pear

Comments: 7
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Dec 24th, 2007

Even Saturated Fat is All Right



I was recently reading Dr. Michael Eades’s (of Protein Power fame) blog, where he linked to a great article on saturated fat.

After giving a brief history on how saturated fat originally came to be seen as the evil cause of heart disease, the article goes on to discuss two key points:

1. The science that shows saturated fat intake leads to heart disease is incredibly weak, and at best, the two are correlated (and that’s being generous).
2. Saturated fat intake can actually lead to a reduction in the typical heart disease risk factors (HDL/LDL ratio or triglyceride levels, depending on which measure you prefer).

(It also briefly explains how a high-carb diet can lead to the high triglyceride levels, but that’s a story for another post.)

But don’t just take my word for it. Read the full article here.

Comments: 1
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Dec 22nd, 2007

The Rope Climb

Rope Climbing is a very simple exercise, in fact it is probably the simplest exercise you can find. Rope climbing has been one of the favorite exercises of combat athletes all over the world for centuries. Many historians agree that rope climbing is the earliest form of gymnastics equipment ever used and ancient ropes have been unearthed from several sites in Ancient Greece.

Rope climbing is one of the most effective ways to strengthen the entire body and develop functional strength. The climb comes up every now and again in our WODs, but is still, in our opinion, an under-utilized piece of equipment at CFO. So next rest day give this nice “density training” with rope climbs a try.

Set a timer for 10-minutes. Challenge yourself to climb the rope as many times as possible during this timeframe. You may be surprised how difficult it is!

Post your experience to comments.

Comments: 3
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Dec 22nd, 2007

A CF Christmas Present?


If you could buy yourself just one CrossFit-related gift (something pertaining to exercise or diet), what would it be?

Post your answer to comments.

Comments: 14
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