Jingle Jingle!

“Plans are useless. But, planning is indispensable.”

– Dwight D. Eisenhower

What’s Going On?

Holiday Potluck Party and White Elephant Exchange

Location: CrossFit Palo Alto

Saturday, December 9th, 5-8pm

Dress: Any Degree of Formal (partly, semi, etc.)

Holiday Schedule Changes

12/25 – CLOSED

12/26 – CLOSED

1/1/24 – 9am “Murph”

Overheard in Class:

“Good reps make good rounds.”

Someone’s Deep Squats (Thoughts)

We’re having a party on Saturday at 5pm. Bring your family, some food and some white elephant gifts. It’s going to be a blast. And even better when you’re here.

Today’s focus is the history of the White Elephant Gift Exchange as told by Wikipedia.

A white elephant gift exchange,[1] Yankee swap[2] or Dirty Santa[3][nb 1] is a party game where amusing and impractical gifts are exchanged during festivities. The goal of a white elephant gift exchange is to entertain party-goers rather than to gain a genuinely valuable or highly sought-after item. (AKA Have Fun.)

The term white elephant refers to an extravagant, impractical gift that cannot be easily disposed of. The phrase is said to come from a perspective about the historic practice of the King of Siam (now Thailand) giving rare albino elephants to courtiers who had displeased him, so that they might be ruined by the animals’ upkeep costs. However, there is no actual record of the King gifting a white elephant specifically to burden the recipients, and white elephants are considered to be highly valuable and sacred in Thai culture, so much that any white elephant that is found must immediately be brought to the King according to his legal ownership.[4] While the first use of this term remains a matter of contention among historians,[5] one theory suggests that Ezra Cornell brought the term into the popular lexicon through his frequent social gatherings as early as 1828.[6]


Each participant supplies one wrapped gift, usually of similar value.[3] The gifts are placed in a central location, and participants determine in which order (often by numbers randomly drawn prior to the start of the game) they will take turns selecting a gift. The first person opens a wrapped gift, and the turn ends.[3] On subsequent turns, each person has the choice to either unwrap a new present or to steal another’s. When a person’s gift is stolen, that person can either choose another wrapped gift to open or can steal from another player.[3] Each gift can only be stolen twice per game. The game is over when everyone has a present. At the end, the first player may, if desired, steal any gift – according to some rules, even a gift that is out of play. The first player plays twice.

Note sure what to get for a gift? Here are 70 suggestions! (LINK)


Some people are visual learners and may find this video helpful. And humorous.


I have always searched for little ways to improve since the bigger the change, the harder it is. In doing so, I would tell myself stories as motivation to get after it. Vengeance isn’t a healthy theme for me. But, I do enjoy finding new and creative ways to compete invigorating. Recently, I came across a fairly famous “self-help” coach (Ed Mylett) presenting one of my favorite strategies to stay motivated. The strategy is the idea of Separation Season (Ed’s name for it.)

Check it out here:


Personally, I used this tactic after I failed to qualify for the 2016 CrossFit Games as a new 40 year old. Instead of taking time off I doubled down on getting better at my weaknesses. Games athletes had to focus on Games training for 2 months. I was free to work on my weaknesses. When they were recovering after The Games, I was training with laser focus on catching up and passing them. This was my mentality going into the 2017 season. It worked and I qualified 7th overall.

Ed uses the idea that some will turn a holiday into a holiweek or a holimonth. Instead, use this time to make a difference in your life. Stay aggressive at the end of this year and you’ll be glad you did when January rolls around. We all have parties and extra food during this time. Double down on your commitment to yourself and your family by making it to your classes this month. You won’t be sorry and you’ll create separation with your competition and with your old self.

Send me your influences. Music? Books? Movies? Series?