Trails, ice, and cold wind

Trail running has been my go to for over two decades, and never stops challenging me in obstacles from logs, deer, and today ice… everywhere I wanted to speed up there was…. you get the picture.

Universal Sole Trail running series has been Chicago’s premiere running series event host for over a decade. I was involved with Universal Sole when they were a small running shoe store in Chicago’s Lakeview area run by Paul Peters, Jessica, and partners. A welcoming, and family type atmosphere where yes, everyone knew your name, running style, and speed on some of the city’s, and national races. It was that type of store.

Equipment to gear you up for training, and racing were stocked. If not they bent over backwards to get it for you quickly. I was honored to run, and train with the U-Sole team. I have to say that these guys were, and still are wickedly fast runners. I trained with some of them in the mid nineties, and proud to have them lead me to some personal bests, and coach me for some adventure races also.

They supported me when I could no longer run, and helped me recover from a major life altering event that stopped my running career altogether. So, getting back to running, and now racing a trail race that they sponsor is heartwarming, and brings me great joy. A challenge met, and looking forward to once again run in the U-Sole sponsored race series.

I hope one day you can enjoy the family atmosphere wherever it may be of a local shop that knows how you run, what your best and not so best times are, and what they can in turn help you grow to become a better runner.

Feels more like…..

The forecast last. Igbo made it sound like everyone should be wearing more than usual because the weather turned downward and things were frozen quickly.

Well it is Chicago after all. Today after a thorough warm up, we tucked up and briskly walked fast to Barrie Park once more. Not feeling the cold since we were warm to begin with, but beginning to breath a little heavier since the rucks a few of us wore were on the heavy side.

We had the soccer field lapped then began a pyramid up and down worth of exercises to contend with so we were not going to feel the cold.

Ever been outside when it’s so cold everything coming out of your nose or mouth steams up? Well with my beard, it did just that plus froze on my face. I was wondering why my beard felt stiff during the Bear crawl ruck drag.

We had a chance to teach the loaded crab walk, loaded Cossack and we ran with the rucks also. Pretty darn fun, except them tri’s were burning up a storm!Today felt like this:

Cold? What’s that?

We had fun, and our new inductees Eleni, and Sarah had a blast. They learned a few new things today and they’re coming back for more.

Hope to see you out there with us soon.

Recycled flooring, not recycled breathing

I don’t know about you, but 31F feels good with just a wool shirt and a sandbag. Especially when your lugging it around for 300m, then performing 3 rounds of man-makers, shoulder to shoulder and finishing off with leg levers while holding said bag.

We ended up doing our WOD in a kids lot adjacent to the Barrie Park field, and man what a nice feeling cork ( I believe the material is) felt. However I think it’s recycled tires.

Man-makers are anaerobic system builders. When you think you’re good to go for an exercise and then you realize your second gear switched on on the first set, and you try not puking on the third set you know deep down that it is something that needs more work.

Humbled once again by a simple exercise routine, and a sandbag. This year is going to be fun, and I’d like to share this fun with you all. So, let’s get signed up.

See you soon!

New day, cold mud

We had a great soft opening day for RuFF in CFSpero this morning. It was a blast right from the get go.

We began our event inside the gym for a warmup and a little instruction for the morning’s event. We tucked up and headed out. Fun morning, with temps at 41F and zero wind.

Rucked a 1/4 mile and ended up in an icy, slight field. This stops the weak right in their tracks just by looking at it. However we are cut from a different cloth, and that material is all out of stock.

We had a great workout, and note to self – “No bright colors when there is mud to be played in”.

Under 20 min workout, ice, standing water, mud, shortness of breath, and a rucksack. What else can you ask for when you’re looking to have a greater understanding of being in the moment while you’re learning more about yourself?

Til next time –

If you’re interested in joining the CrossFit Spero Family contact

New permanent meeting location

Monday January 28, 2019 we begin a new chapter at Our new location located at CrossFit Spero.

I will be working for CF Spero and running our RuFF program from there. It is ne of the most exciting things to have happen just this year.

If you’re interested in joining us, please email me at

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with alternating Saturdays

Starting times at 0600

See you then!

Sign up soon!

CrossFit Spero

221 Harrison Street

Oak Park, IL 60304

708) 628-3784

One cold dry morning

Baby, it’s cold outside! No songs were sung nor tune played for our pleasure this morning. Out the front door into the fray with a temperature of 22F.

Good thing there isn’t a wind chill or we’d be popsicles right from the get go. We’re going to be at Roos Athletics Field for this week.

Come and join us, so we can help you get you back in gear.


⁃ jumping jacks x 40

– leg/arm swings x 20/ea

⁃ Trunk twists/ Torso bends x 20 ea

WOD – ruck 10/20# dry

  • 400m ruck
    • 50 x walking lunges
    • 20 x burpees w/ruck
    • 50 x flutter kicks / leg
    • 20 x dive bombers/ Hindu push ups
    • 50 x step ups w/ruck
    • 20 x goblet squats
  • 400m ruck
  • Baby it’s Hot inside

    Getting out on cold, wintry days takes a certain mindset that you have to develop. I recall as a child that the only way I’d go out and feel happy was when there was a) no school, and b) snow on the ground.

    I could care less that I could freeze within minutes outside with the windchill alone, much less the lack of layers on my body. As I got older I was still not happy unless there was snow on the ground, but at least I learned the value of cover on my nugget and hands.

    I did give myself a gift of severe frost nip one year working outdoors with bad gloves and from then on I do have to make sure I am properly warmed up in order for my hands not to be bothered too much by the cold.

    Nowadays we have to make a concerted effort to head out to workout knowing the lack of snow, but plenty of ice, and cold! Layering options are a plenty to choose from and the joy of going to do something I enjoy is levels ahead regardless of whether or not it is 15~20F.

    Get out, and enjoy life regardless of the cold. You may even like it. Just keep moving and wear the appropriate layering available to you.