Blazing a Trail

If you haven’t had the good fortune to meet Jimmy Sides, this is something you should put on your list. Jimmy has quite a story. I am not going to tell you much, but he has served in our military and was wounded in battle.

This has been just a small hurdle for him. He maintains a tremendously active lifestyle including mountain biking, snowboarding, etc. He also comes to class three days a week. I asked Jimmy if I could use his story for a blog for two reasons: 1) his story is Awesome, and 2) each day Jimmy comes to class we scale movements, and create ways for him to do everything. Jimmy lost his arm just below his elbow, so set aside from leg work, most things need to be reworked a bit.

Just last week the workout contained strict pull-ups, pistols, and double unders. In Jimmy’s situation a pull-up is not in the cards due to his prosthetic, but he can absolutely still pull. It is still just as important to keep both of his shoulders strong. Here is the sub that we used this class, incorporating some bands and a little creativity. If you watch the movement of his upper arm, he is moving through the same range as you would doing a pull-up. Check that one off the list, he is doing the thing. It looks different but pulling is pulling.

Pullup Scaling

On to the next, pistols. Jimmy has great flexibility, and is working on the strength to complete a pistol. Check this one off the list, he is scaling the same as the rest of the class.

Pistol Scaling

Lastly, we have the double under. As you can imagine, this one presents it own challenges. Creative mind turned on, we as a class found a way for Jimmy to clasp the handle of the rope (pretty sweet, when someone else in class says “I have an idea” and it works). Now all he has to do is just a double under, which presents quite a challenge for all kinds of people. With a little progression and some concentration, this is the result.

Double Under Scaling

This was such a cool day! I was floored. This GPP structure is brilliant. It is scalable in all directions. We all have the need to push, pull, squat, etc. It may look a bit different, but there is no reason to think that you cannot do something. At the end of the day, we all have the these beautiful bodies, and we can all get better. Injuries, immobility, and any other limitations, bring them here. It’s just another chance to be incredible.

Jimmy, you’re incredible, and such a pleasure to coach. I am so pumped to be a part of your story. Thank you for blazing your very own trail. It looks good on you my friend.


Danny Lesslie



5/22/14 WOD

6 Unbroken Chest-to-Bar Pull Ups
6 Unbroken Jump Squats

-Rest 2 minutes-

12 Unbroken KB Swings (70/53)
12 Shoulder-to-Overhead (115/85)