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Skedge 3/12/18 (Stacking the Odds Against You…)

By CEEJ | In St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp | on March 11, 2018

Hit me with your best shot… Fire Away!!!


Upcoming Event… Save The Date!!

“Birth-Camp-iversary” Party!

(2017 Birth-Camp-iversary… Don’t ask…)

It’s that time of the year again… My Birthday… My first day as a Bootcamp Trainer… and my conversion to Bootcamp Ceej-E-O… all took place on approximately the same date:  April 8th.

It’s a special time of year for me because, in my mind, it marks the date that I found my true calling.  As such, I’d like to invite you to celebrate with me as it provides a great excuse for the Bootcamp Family to go out and be social somewhere outside our familiar soccer field setting.  Come out and have a few adult beverages with myself and your class mates.

We’ve had an absolute blast with this event and great turn outs in the past.  So if this is your first year at Bootcamp, be sure to come out and make some new friends and some new memories.

What:  Birth-Camp-Iversary Party!!

Where:  Joey B’s (near Manchester and Baxter Rd)

When:  Friday, April 6th
Time:  5ish–??

(No gifts, please… just come out and have some fun!)  🙂


Stacking the Odds Against You…

Last weekend I partook in the 2018 Quivering Quads Trail Run.

And It. Was. BRUTAL!


If you read 2017’s testimony of this event, this should come as no surprise:


But a lot can happen in a year. 

The mind plays tricks.  You convince yourself that last year wasn’t as bad as you originally estimated.

You remember it being tough, but not the kind of tough that attempts to crush one’s soul.

You remember the pretty park.

You remember the babbling brook.

You remember the deer that crossed your path.

You remember running into an old college buddy at the finish line.

The race was tough, sure… But certainly “2018 CJ” can crush “2017 CJ”.

Oh “2018 CJ”… you cocky, foolish, amnesia-ridden, nincompoop!

When I signed up in January, I had a game plan.

But there’s an old saying:  “People make plans… and God laughs.”

The Big Guy must’ve had a good chuckle at my expense, because I wound up stacking the deck completely against myself. 

Do you have 'faith' / saddha in

About a week into my training schedule, I threw my back all out of whack.  It felt like the vertebrae were misplaced in two separate positions in my upper and lower back.

I couldn’t run for distance.  I could barely demo the moves for Bootcamp without writhing in pain.  At it’s worst, a simple reverse crunch was downright agonizing.  (But, of course, the show must go on.)  😉

When I finally was able to pop my joints back into place, my back muscles seized relentlessly as if carrying the memory of a week’s worth of compensatory efforts.

By the time I had regained fully mobility, I had about 10 days remaining before the big race. (STRIKE 1…)

I didn’t want to run, for fear of re-tweaking my back, so I stuck to a cram session of cardio-based workouts in an effort to bolster my lung capacity.

Meanwhile, another wrench was about to be thrown into the works. 

One of my best friends had decided to do a bar crawl for his birthday… that is… the day before the race. (STRIKE 2…)

Things are starting to look dicey.

To add insult to injury, as I’m packing up my race day gear, I remember one additional fun fact.  My brand new trail shoes have yet to make it out of the box.  So I’ll be breaking in new shoes on 13.1 miles of rock-laden, uphill, winding, uneven trail. (STRIKE 3… with more to come…)

This is going to be ugly.

When race day arrives, I’m hung over, sleep deprived, un-trained, and uncertain if I’ve made a colossal mistake coming back to Cuivre River State Park in Troy, MO.

The race begins and I rip off the first mile in 6 minutes, 30 seconds.

I know I won’t be able to maintain this pace, but I’m feeling surprisingly good.

At mile 3, reality is setting in and I’m beginning to feel some of the previous day’s assortment of beers seeping out of my pours.  But I remind myself, that a 5k is behind me… just keep chunking it down.

Mile 5, water station.  I’ll take it.  Arrrggggghhhh… this water’s gone bad!… Nope… That’s Gatorade.  Definitely Gatorade.  I’ve been tricked.  But if ever there were a time for sneaky, synthetic, sugar-laden electrolytes, I suppose, this is it.  Do your “Would You Eat It Wednesday” tear down of Gatorade later.  For now, we gotta run.

Mile 6, I wore too many layers.  It was a brisk morning at the start and I had prepared for the wind, but now I’m sweating like a wh0re in church and it feels like I’ll have to swim the back half of this course.

Mile 7, my new trail shoes have been sliding a bit on the slanted terrain, but just now I feel a blister forming on my right toe.  (Common sense holds true:  Never wear new shoes on the day of a big race.)

Mile 8, flashbacks to 2017.  I remember the deer that uplifted my spirits at about this juncture.  As I go quasi-delirious re-creating the image of Bambi, I lose focus and miss a turn.  I’m not on the trail.  I’m in the woods.  No other humans in sight.  How far off path have I gone?  Just then, a runner appears as if from nowhere, and gives me a knowing wave to follow him to get back on track.  I’ve lost a place.  I’ve lost some time.  But at least I’m not lost-lost (like the woman I later heard about who kept running until she hit a subdivision!)

Mile 9, muscles breaking down.  Feet dragging.  But I’m encouraged because according to my GPS tracker, I’m ahead of last year’s pace.  Although not by a lot.  It seems impossible having missed two turns already.  But maybe, just maybe, I can pull off the impossible.

Mile 10, I’m desperate to stop.  I recall Goggins, the Navy Seal who also wanted to stop after 70 miles of a 100 mile race.  His feet were broken, he was peeing blood, and involuntarily pooping on himself.  But somehow managed to complete another 30 miles in sickening, unimaginable physical pain.  I’ve got 3 miles left of a 13 mile race and I’m whining because I didn’t get an optimal night’s sleep last night.  Suck it up, Buttercup!  3 more miles.

Mile 11, I find a second wind.  More like an 18th wind.  I know I’m getting close.

Mile 12, it’s worse than ever.  But I’m still on pace for a personal victory.  Mush!

Mile 13, it’s NOT mile 13!!  I’ve been living a lie this whole time.  My GPS is full of crap.  The finish line is nowhere to be seen.  I’m morally dejected.  I’m physically exhausted.  The blister on my toe has its own heartbeat.  The mileage countdown was the only thing keeping me going.  Now I’m in Quivering Quads purgatory.  Maybe it never ends.

Mile 14, LIES!… LIES!… LIES!… I’m not sure if Fleet Feet measured the course wrong or if my tracker (provided by Under Armour) has screwed the pooch.  But somebody deserves a sternly worded letter… and my foot in their @ss.

Still my favorite Red Forman quote. : funny

The finish line, I see it!  I check my watch.  If I sprint I can still get in under the 2 hour mark.  If I don’t, the guy behind me might find something left in his basement and pass me in the last quarter mile.  I can’t allow that.  I will my legs forward, fend off the trailing runner, and finish at 1:59:15.

It’s 4 minutes shy of “2017 CJ”… but under the circumstances, I’m just thrilled that I survived.

I drag my body past the grilled cheese and pretzel station (not joking) to claim an orange wedge and a banana.

EVERYTHING hurts.  But as I told myself throughout the race, “This too shall pass.”

Sometimes the odds are stacked against you.  Sometimes you don’t quite hit your goal.  Sometimes you have insane thoughts about giving it another go in 2019.  (Yea… C-R-A-Z-Y talk!)

And sometimes you just have to be pleased with your level of effort.

Sometimes you win even when you missed your mark…

At the end of Rocky 1, both men are physically exhausted, bruised, bloodied, cut, and broken.  They’ve been through a war.

The two can barely stand and lean upon one another after the 15th and final bell sounds to keep from collapsing.

Apollo says to Rocky immediately, “Ain’t gonna be no rematch.”

Rocky immediately replies, “Don’t want one.”

Rocky The Movie Turns 40; Rocky The Boxer Wouldn't Have ...

But of course there is a rematch!

The DNA of a fighter always wants to test (and re-test) his metal.

A warrior leaves it all out there.  He gives so much himself… becomes so depleted in battle… that he becomes a shell of his pre-battle self.

In the moments immediately thereafter, he can’t even fathom the possibility of enduring a similar struggle as the one that just pushed him to his limits and well beyond them.

But time heals all wounds.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

And that sadisitic killer instinct rises again.

To face your fears… to overcome pain… whether physical or otherwise…

That’s how we grow.  That’s the price we pay.  

Or to quote Rocky directly, “That’s how winning is done!”

+refresh: Rocky Balboa Quotes - That's how winning is done.

Much love,


Post Race!


Sign Up | The Battlegrounds Mud Run

Mark your calendars for 5/19/2018!!

That’s right!… We’re going back to the Battlegrounds!

Our crew had such a blast in the last one, that there was no hesitation in signing up for the next one.  

You gotta get in on this! 

AND… If you register early, you get a discount!  (Discount code:  LETSBATTLE)

Don’t miss out!

Here’s what to do (step-by-step instructions):

Go here:  http://thebattlegrounds.com/events/

Click Sign Up Now!

Click Sign Up Online Now

Click Register Now

Choose Afternoon Waves 12-3pm

Fill out the form… (CHOOSE Distance:  5k) (CHOOSE Team:  Battle-Tested Bootcampers)

Before you finish checking out, use DISCOUNT CODE:  LETSBATTLE to get $10 OFF!

Hoping to get a big team together for this one, dominate the course, create some new stories, and party like a rockstar at the finish line!

Discount code may only be good through the end of October… so don’t wait… sign up now and schedule your life around this event.  😉





CJ’s Book of the Week: 

“The Sweet Potato Diet” by Michael Morelli


“Skedge” for 3/12/18-3/17/18

Manchester (Class Times:  Mon-Fri @ 5:30/7:00/8:30am & Satuday @ 7am)

Monday:  Lower (CJ)

Tuesday:  Upper (CJ)
Wednesday:  Core  (CJ)

Thursday:   Lower (CJ)

Friday:   Upper (CJ)  

Saturday: Total Body Workout — St Patty’s Day!!


CJ Thomas

Owner, Operator, & “CeejEO”

St. Louis Fitness Bootcamp

ph:  314-266-9729

email:  CJ@STLFitnessBootcamp.com


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