We All Make Choices

- Lessons from my adventures in Hybrid Athletics

Lessons in running and lifting the hybrid way

I started off this year with a list of goals as I always do. On the list was to compete in three powerlifting meets. Another goal was to run a marathon which has been on my annual goal list for years with the closest thing to me engaging it being a half marathon. Then an article by Brandon Crabill hit my Facebook feed http://www.powerrackstrength.com/brandon-crabill-bamf-cigafurkey-rules/.

A challenge to run a marathon and compete in a powerlifting meet 4 weeks later. While as crazy as it sounds we used proven training concepts and lessons learned from Alex Viada owner of https://www.completehumanperformance.com/ and Tony Cowden owner of http://compedgeperformance.com/coaching/coaches/tony-cowden/.

The thing about this challenge is I asked 23 people to do it with me and for the next 24 weeks we trained at opposite ends of the spectrum. We named the group Project Warhorse and the lifting of heavy weight and pounding pavement started. To be honest, this entire affair was borne from world class trash talk between some runners and lifters but more specifically my friend Daryl Mcneil. He and I made our coaching debut with this group. I don’t want to get this confused this isn’t a tale of super athletes doing freaky feats of strength and endurance but rather 23 people who made a CHOICE.


  • run a marathon in 6 hours or less
  • Sub-goal: just finish the damn thing
  • Powerlifting: class 1 total or 9/9
  • Sub-goal: get stronger

Lesson1 Motivation is fleeting

-Bring friends-

People think you are motivated because you do something day in or day out.

The reality is discipline and habits trumps motivation. This isn’t to say “screw off motivation.” this is just letting you know up front to acknowledge difficulty and that sometimes shit sucks.

Lesson2 Plan,Decide, Execute,Adapt

plan your run.run your plan. @

Ideas are worthless unless acted on and can be priceless if achieved. We had a challenge. Now we needed a race and a powerlifting event.

Google is your friend. After a couple of poorly spelled google searches we found our race. The Maui Oceanfront Marathon….. Next up hacking the powerlifting code.

I could write an entire article entitled “how to setup a powerlifitng meet the wrong way” because that’s exactly what I did. We can revisit this at a later entry titled Don't Interrupt My Set.

Long story short thanks to Darren Matsumoto and Leo Richards from USPA Hawaii. They helped us put together a meet short notice and enlisted the help of John Watkins from the bad ass veteran owned t-shirt company https://feedmefightme.com/. Now we had our meet.

Lesson3 I Like The Misery

Embrace discomfort. Make jokes at your own expense. Bring the right attitude to the right problem set. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Phrases you may have heard and sound cliche but the fact is the ability to endure and hang on is sometimes a key component in success. Even if it wasn’t the case we all like to root for the hero who can take a bit of punishment and keep going. So be your own hero and grind it out.

“cardio is king”


“strength is never a weakness”

Lesson4 Draw Parallels

Hardwork is hardwork is hardwork.

You put in the work you see the benefit. Not a whole lot of room for interpretation. I have always seen the parallel between the gym and everyday life. Not everyone needs that wake up call. For some the parallel comes in the form of being more assertive, maybe in the form of sticking to a plan. The gym has a way of reinforcing things.

“Not supporting your training with the proper recovery or preparation has immediate feedback”

Lesson5 Inspire Don’t Instruct

Motivation is fleeting and discipline trumps motivation but small things have big effects. With that being said celebrate yourself and be the hero of your own movie. People wake up everyday ready to head back to bed. What I have witnessed is that you choose to see opportunity in most things even the bad. The challenge when you wake up is simple get excited and see the opportunity in front of you. It might take some time but you have the option to not just breathe and lumber through the day. You have a choice to make.

Do you want to be good or do you want to be great?

Small victories

Bottom line: We didn’t break any world records but we had two athletes finish 1st and 2nd on their very first marathon. We have had 3 state record holders in both squat and deadlift (Hawaii). We had 20 people who never touched a weight before step onto the platform in front of a room full of people and lift the heaviest thing they could. I had someone ask why would we skip straight to a marathon or put people on a platform in just 6 months.The answer is simple a belief in self and a hard work ethic can be a powerful combination.