The Giving Gym

“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

– Winston Churchill

What’s Going On?

Holiday Schedule Changes

12/25 – CLOSED

12/26 – CLOSED

1/1/24 – 9am “Murph” Open to ALL MEMBERS

Overheard in Class:

“Two things can happen when you look down and they’re both bad.”

Tim’s Deep Squats (Thoughts)

I found and shared the Churchill quote above at our 10 year anniversary banquet. It’s how I think about giving 100%. If it doesn’t cost you something, it won’t be worth much. Similarly, my kids have been drilled on what we call “The Big 3” for many years. The big three in our house are Attitude, Effort and Focus. Before every training, practice, game, etc. These are the things we have control over. These are the things we are responsible for.

Now, it seems like we are racing through December. And what a ride it’s been in 2023. Maybe you’re checking your year end Spotify lists. Maybe you’re organizing family events, travel and gifts. I like to reflect on the year and my station in life. Bear with me as I share some of my thinking about CrossFit Palo Alto, The Big 3 and one of the underlying concepts I operate from.

23 years ago I was living in the Oakland hills with a bunch of rugby teammates. I worked in San Francisco and attended a church out in Concord. One night the pastor, Sean, started out by telling us that the church was dying. I was shocked to say the least. I loved this little community of mostly GenX’ers. There was a great band and fun social outings. I didn’t want to see it disbanded.

Then Sean described how the size of the church ebbed and flowed as people joined  and left. There wasn’t a lot he could do about it. Jobs change. People get married and move away. Kids are born and demands change schedules. It was all very understandable. He described it as a continual dying because when people joined they bring life and add their personality to the community. This becomes the new normal. When people leave, they take the things they brought and more. They take a piece of the church with them, which can be akin to dying. BUT, this is the best part. This is what we are called to do. To pour into others and hope they take something positive with them.

Do you remember Shel Silverstein’s, The Giving Tree? I like how this story shares a similar view to “the dying church”. Apparently there is controversy in how the story is interpreted. My view is that the tree wanted to give and be of service to the boy. The act of giving made the tree happy. At the end of the story, the tree is a stump that can only offer a place to sit. Even then, this is an act of service. Take heart, our story is not ending. While we will give “blood, toil, tears and sweat,” we will not run out of love for you and the CFPA community. Through this sacrificial giving is how I, at CFPA and throughout my life, fulfill my purpose and calling.

For the last fourteen plus years I have seen and experienced thousands of members and visitors pass through our doors. I am grateful for every one of them and every one of you that continue to be here now. You all have contributed to the CFPA community and made us better. My hope is that everyone takes a piece of CFPA with them. I pray that everyone has a good experience and looks back with fondness at the time spent here while finding value to put towards their next endeavor. We are a dying gym. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.


5 Minutes of Dad Jokes. Seriously.


It’s colder, darker and we all want to sleep more. That doesn’t always mean we get to. So make the most of the sleep you do get with these recommendations.

The Eight Sleep Pod Cover has been rated as “The Best Gift” I have ever given to Kristen. (My wife.) It’s a mattress topper that has programmable temperatures to optimize your sleeping. It has saved us money by allowing the window to stay closed in the winter and saved us from a lot of fighting over bed coverings. Use this link for a discount:

The other item is The Pillow Cube. It’s kinda funny to say you use a squared/cubed pillow. But it’s worth it. Good for side sleepers and those that get those neck/shoulder “sleep injuries”. 4 out of 5 in our house use pillow cubes.

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