Did anyone see Jeff’s muscle up?


Please accept my apology ahead of time, but I have to do this.  After what happened yesterday (Jeff Oakes hitting a muscle up), I don’t think a lot of people really know how awesome it was, so a little backstory is necessary for the full effect.


Many of you may not know this, but Jeff was a member of CFD a few years back, when we were still at our old location.  He drove about an hour one-way to take classes when he could, which was usually only one or two nights a week at most.  Always, working hard and always willing to learn new things—he was great to have in class.  One Thursday, Jeff hit his first muscle up, which, as many of you know, is a huge accomplishment in your journey as a CrossFitter…it was awesome, as muscle up stories generally are!


Unfortunately, that very same weekend, Jeff got into a bad wreck while racing motocross, something he has always loved to do.  It was a pretty devastating accident, and left him badly broken up—both arms were broken, at least one leg was broken, ribs were broken…the guy was basically Humpty-Dumpty getting put back together again.


For the next 2 years or so, Jeff kept in touch with me throughout his healing process.  Some weeks, he was getting better and seemed to be on the mend, and other weeks, it seemed he would take some steps backward (through no fault of his own, of course) and have complications with the multiple injuries and surgeries that went into everything.  It was scary to see that demon named depression take hold of him at times…it’s hard not to fall into that rut when it seems like the road to recovery is so damn long and painful.  Few people know that process better than Jeff.


Yesterday evening, Jeff hit his first muscle up since his accident!  To think that after all that, you’ve been able to climb back to where you were and hit a movement that many athletes aspire to perform….I’m simply blown away!


To have witnessed and been only a tiny part of the last couple years of Jeff’s life—his accident and the recovery process that is still ongoing—I can attest with every fiber of my being that this is one of the mentally toughest people I’ve ever met on the planet.  When the choice to throw in the towel and give up or keep on pressing towards what only seemed like an impossible goal, Jeff showed perseverance and dedication time and time again.  Sorry to be cheesy, Jeff, but you are the embodiment of what it takes to be great.  You don’t have an ounce of quit in you.


You are the difference between the majority of people who face adversity already telling themselves ‘I can’t,’ with the few people who face adversity telling themselves ‘I CAN.’


Sorry for not asking permission to write about you briefly, Jeff, but I had a feeling that you’re too damn humble to brag about something that is so brag-worthy.  Your story deserves to be told, and I think the community deserves to know just exactly who you are at your core.


Things like this sure don’t happen often, but when they do, they make me really have a sense of fulfillment with my job.  Thanks for the inspiration, Jeff!


RLTW <1>


—Coach Phil