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210 CrossFit Blog

Goodnight, Sweet Prince…

Last night I did my first ever sleep study.

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For a few years now, I have snored loudly and not rested well. I really had no idea how bad it was until two years ago in Puerto Rico, my good friend and ZKC USA partner Thomas Lower slept with me (no, not quite like that) in the same room and asked if I knew I snored like Bigfoot. I laughed because I thought it was just because I was super tired, but in reality, it was a problem that I should have taken care of then.

Fast forward till now. After doing research and realizing that I probably had sleep apnea, I decided that I had to fork over the money to get this issue resolved. Sleep apnea can elevate blood pressure levels, cause hypertension and in extreme cases cause heart failure. At 38 years young, this was no time to mess around with my health. I want kids and a family and if I didn’t tackle this issue head on, my future family would suffer.

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I checked in to San Antonio Sleep Centers at 9:30pm. A very friendly and professional man greeted me and let me in. I was escorted to my room and given a few forms to fill out. I paid the $700 and was then hooked up to a small machine. There were about 8-10 wires connected to me to monitor my breathing and twitching, as well as cameras that watched my movement throughout the night. I did what they called a split night study, where the first two hours I was monitored sleeping without a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to determine if I met the criteria for sleep apnea. Within two hours I was woken up and told that I was snoring so loud that he could hear me from outside my room. I was also told I stopped breathing multiple times throughout the night and was tossing and turning. All these things I already knew, but I was happy that I did them during the study as I knew that would facilitate treatment much quicker than had I not.

I had four hours left in my study and he immediately hooked me up to a CPAP machine. The mask fit over my mouth and nose, and blew air straight into my nose (you are supposed to keep your mouth closed). It was only slightly awkward at first, but within a few minutes I dozed off. Four hours later he woke me up and informed me that I never moved once, and did not snore. As tired as I still was after only four hours of sleep, I felt alert and rested. He said I probably had not gotten that quality of sleep in years, and I should notice the difference all day.

It’s almost noon now and I feel awesome. Hopefully soon I can be rocking my CPAP machine and getting 7-8 hours of high quality REM sleep every night. I feel that this is going to change my life in such a positive way that I am scared to see how much more awesome I will become. The purpose of this blog is to help you all understand that sleep is crucial to your everyday well being. If you have sleep issues or simply don’t rest enough, please DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

I put this off for far too long and paid the price over the past few years. I regret not doing this earlier and hopefully this is a wake up call to you all to not make the same mistake I did.

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Crossfit FXTX Olympic Lifting Meet Recap

This past weekend I made the trek to Allen, Texas to show support for Texas Weightlifting and my buddy Dylan Gautreaux as he hosted a sanctioned USAW meet. Arriving almost 8 hours after my departure from San Antonio on Friday night, Dylan and his crew helped me unload the ZKC Competition set to use at the meet. I was tired, forgot to pack my monopod and tripods, as well as my underwear. When I finally got back to the hotel, my computer crashed and my idea for a well run and efficient weekend immediately went out the window. Owning a gym has helped me prepare for the stressors of this type of situation, so I coped by skipping dinner and falling asleep in my dirty clothes without brushing my teeth.

Saturday morning came too soon, however it was all worth the effort. Dylan and Bobby Sirkis ran an exceptionally well run meet, as expected. The DJ was on point as well and everyone was helpful and friendly, making the atmosphere electric. The first session was male youth and juniors, and it was inspiring to watch these young men battle against the barbell. Lone Star Weightlifting represented very well and as always, did a great job of displaying the talent of our Texas youth. My goal is to eventually train youth lifters year round, along with my current junior and senior and masters lifters, and I was a bit envious to see a huge group of kids lifting for a team that wasn’t mine. It was great motivation for me to do something about this.

Overall it was a great meet for many reasons, however the lifters stole the show. So many PRs, so many smiles and so many big lifts made this meet memorable for me. It was also a rare opportunity for me to enjoy the meet from the behind the lens of my camera, as normally I am pulling double duty as a lifter and a coach for several athletes. I was able to focus on the important moments of each lift while trying to capture the raw emotion that goes into this sport. I personally understand the sacrifice it takes to lift to your full potential and watching these athletes on Saturday really humbled me. That alone made my whole weekend of hard work worth every second. As I watched PRs fall left and right, I also couldn’t help but wonder if the ZKC Competition set had anything to do with it (shameless ZKC USA plug).

A big thank you goes out to Dylan and his wife Melissa for the great job they did preparing for the meet. Also to Bobby Sirkis who ran the meet like a BOSS, as well as all the judges and volunteers who helped make this event special. A special shout out to Howard Little for saving my ass on Friday morning. I am glad to be back in San Antonio and cannot wait to watch the last week of the Crossfit Open go down this coming weekend. I missed my athletes and coaches very much while I was away (as I always do), and I am not too proud to admit that!

It is great to see Crossfit and Olympic Lifting thrive here in Texas. My goal is to keep the people whose paths I cross on a daily basis educated, motivated, healthy and strong. Train hard, train smart and eat an occasional pizza all by yourself…

For photos/video, ZKC equipment sales, training questions and/or if you just want to say hi, I can be reached at steve@zkcusa.com.

Shown here is good friend and 2x World Masters Champion Melissa Knourek nailing a PR 83kg C&J just after snatching another PR at 70kg.

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