Archive for December, 2011


Posted in Articles on December 29, 2011 by oldcountrystrong


Sorry, I’m watching the UW-Baylor game with the old man and the Dawgs just scored. There are three things I know 1. The UW and Baylor defenses are just god awful, 2. Up up down down left right left right B A select start gives you 30 lives in Contra, and 3. Everyone loves sports highlights. So without further ado I thought I do the sports year in review from the I/C perspective.


A lot of people in Seattle didn’t watch the NBA last year, what with the NBA aiding and abetting in the theft of the Sonics. And because of that a lot of people missed one of the best NBA seasons in recent memory. The Mavs beat the Heat in the finals but the best call for a professional basketball game comes from Spain. Fast forward to 1:20, the announcer loses his mind and voice.

In college basketball, UCONN beat “Cindrella” Butler in the finals. The UW made it to the second round of the playoffs before getting bounced but gave me one of the best birthday presents ever.


The M’s couldn’t score on my 4 year old son in a pick up game of basketball. Ryan Braun is a cheater. The Cardinals won the World Series, thats all I gotta to say about that.

IN YOUR FACE RG III! Sorry we just scored another touchdown. Where was I…


Jon Jones is really good, Anderson Silva is on another level, Frankie Edgar has a horseshoe stuck up in his ass. Diego Sanchez looked like he was in a horror movie… and still won. Clay Guida and Ben Henderson went Matrix in the ring. And Hendo and Shogun showed that years of hype sometimes is true.

Fights of the Year

1. Dan Henderson v Shogun Rua

2. Frankie Edgar v Gray Maynard II

3. Ben Henderson v. Clay Guida

3. Diego Sanchez v Martin Kappman


It was an amazing year for hockey capped off by my team, the Vancouver Canucks, winning Lord Stanley’s Cup. Oh wait, the Canucks blew the fucking Stanley Cup and riots ensued…and thats all I got to say about that.

ANOTHER TOUCHDOWN! My emotions have officilly turned off watching this football game, I’m just numb right now.


Freaking Penn State won the NCAA team championship. I sadly inform you we currently do not live in a Hawkeye nation for at least one year.


USA pulls the unbelievable comeback against Brazil, and than blows it in the Finals against JAPAN! Wow this has been a bad year.


In college football, somethings never changed. A SEC team won the BCS title (with 2 set to play for the title this year), Boise St. choked, Oregon choked, UNI fizzled in the I-AA playoffs. And Michigan State beat Wisconsin on the play of the year.

Finally, in the NFL the Packers beat the Steelers to win the Superbowl. In local news the Seahawks became the first team with a losing record to make the NFL playoffs…and than proceeded to kick the shit of the Saints as well as give the franchise a new hero, Beastmode.

FUCK! Well Baylor just beat UW 67-56, the scoreboard almost broke. Well off to bed, if I missed a highlight put in the comments. That’s it. I’m done. No more posting for this year….ah hell I can’t help myself. If you thought Spanish announcer were great at soccer and now basketball, here is football.

Posted by Nickay

“If you Can’t Jam to Journey, Then Get the Fuck Out…”

Posted in Articles on December 27, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

The 9th Edition Training Cycle wrapped up it’s Hell Week last Saturday. And as usual our girl Roo has recapped the Training for the week in a little montage for you.

Your Welcome Eric…

Posted by; Z

“You’ll shoot your eye out kid”

Posted in Articles on December 22, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

‘Tis the season” but you know what, I ain’t jolly. And this is a probem, a big problem. You see, I love Christmas, I mean that’s a given seeing as I am an large man who happens to be named Nick. But Christmas is under siege from a plethora of problems and something needs to be done about it. So batten down the hatches, this is the official I/C rant on the state of Christmas in the Northwest.


Now I know Christmas shopping has always been a pain but I be damned if it hasn’t gotten worse. This year after getting most of my shopping done at the malls, I starting to think Tyler Durbin may not have been wrong with the whole Project Mayhem thing. I mean it was literally painful to me this year for a couple reasons why.

1. Online shopping

The rise of online shopping you think would reduce the mall traffic and it may do so to a certain extent but it leads to pushier sales people. I can’t stand pushy sales people. Thanks for asking me how I am but if I wanted help I would ask you dipshit. And gone are the day where the person asks just once, I got asked by a person 3 times. I gave the guy the best “Are you fucking kiddding me?” look and left the store. But online shopping is even worse because I go into a store, I see a shirt, and say I need that shirt. Their response? Oh we are out of stock you will have to order it offline. Ok, when can I expect it? Well we can hit it shipped to the store before Christmas but you will have to pay S&H. Wait, I have to pay the shipping and handling for a shirt to be shipped with a 100 other shirts coming to your store? Yes. I felt like stunnering the guy right there. Also I like to look at cloths to see if they fit before I buy them (they don’t make ogre size yet). But taking the cake I had friend walk into a store, find the perfect present ask to buy it and got told that it was a display model only and that she needed order it offline. Craziness.

2. The death of the movie store

It is established that the Filers love movies, well good luck finding those anymore. I went to a major electronics store in Bellevue that rhymes with Rest Rye to buy a movie for a family member and I shit you not they had like 5 racks for movies. After looking I asked if they had the movie and I was told to order it online (grrr…..). And everyplace has more space devoted to Blu-Ray than regular DVDs. A. I don’t have a Blu-Ray player dick and B. Why would I want to spend $35 bucks on a Blu-Ray movie? I rather get 3 regular DVDs. Thank god for Frys in Renton.


As integral part of Christmas as presents and milk and cookies for Santa is Christmas music. Silent Night, Jingle Bells, All I Want for Christmas is You, hearing these songs brings a smile to my face. But the music industry is trying to screw this up. I understand that musicians like Christmas music too, but have some fucking self restraint people. It used to be good singers would come out with Christmas albums ( i.e. Mariah Carey and ole blue eyes) but now everyone has to have a Christmas album. Lady fucking Gaga? A Christmans album? Justin Bieber? Don’t get started on that runt. His “duet” of All I Want for Christmas is being played instead of the original and is making me want to buy a plane ticket, rent a car, and run his mop head down. Hell I rather listen to Larry the Cable Guy than listen to that punk.

Season greetings

I have no idea when this started, but everyone wants to say “Happy Holidays” nowadays. What? It’s “Merry Christmas” assholes. If you celebrate something else, let me know. I’ll tell you “Happy Hannukkah” or “Happy Kwanza” or “Happy Scientology Day” but two days before Christmas I’m going to say “Merry Christmas” because it Jesus’ birthday and he deserves a shout out (especially after the bang up job he has been doing with the Denver Broncos). Also on this subject is Christmas cards. Now I don’t mind when I get a card from someone of their family but if you don’t got kids do really need to send me a card, its kinda conceited. I mean thats just my opinion.


What happened to the good old days? I remember Christmas used to be shopping for fun things at the last minute in Sharper Image and pushing stacks of stuff animals over in FAO Swartz and making it look like your brother knocked them over, now your choices are H&M or American Eagle…oh god. I yearn for those days to return, Christmas is my favorite time of year. Until the Northwest gets back to normal I’ll be hanging with Roddy Pipper’s, Christmas is his favorite time too.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Posted by Nickay

“Can you Draw Sounds…”

Posted in Competition on December 20, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Back in the beginning of November the I/C Competition team traveled to Victoria Canada to compete in the Crossfit Taranis Winter Challenge. I wrote about the whole event on this Blog. I like to think I’m pretty good at retelling stories with verbal images all Vikings can understand. But sometimes just being able to see things really helps tie it all together.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I received an email about a video of the whole event. Apparently the Club was gonna make some appearances in it that I wouldn’t want to miss.

And Here we Go….

I can’t thank Caragh enough for putting all her hard work into this video. I know how much time Roo spends on all the Club videos and the result of your efforts speak for themselves. Anyone having an event in the Canada West Region should definitely look her up to attend your event, 

Thanks again

Posted by: Z

“Throw em Up…”

Posted in Articles on December 18, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Roo recaps Week 2 of the 9th Edition Training Cycle. The Cycle enters Hell Week on the I/C Training Log starting Monday.

Posted by: Z

“To the end….”

Posted in Articles, Athletes on December 15, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

March 29th 2010, Old Country Strong posted its first Article…

I guess you couldn’t even call it an article, it was just a video clip with the header “More to come just getting started”

If you’re not familiar with the lifter in the video then you need do ONE simple thing.

Get the palm of your right hand in front of your face and look at it. Take a good hard look at it. Next take your left hand and using its palm smack your right hand into your face as hard as you can. Because thats what you need to do for not recognizing Vasily Alexeev.

That man is a Force of Nature. Vasily is Old Country Strong.

My Ma was a Historian by trade and my childhood was spent in a house that was full on antiques. And I’m not talking dusty old lamp shades or china collections here. No we had original FBI Wanted posters, our fridge was a top opening Coke-a-Cola IceBox, the radio was replaced with a fully functioning Juke Box and we had a first print Nude calendar of Marilyn Monroe decorating our house. So you can a imagine I grew up with an affinity for Old School.

Where does this tie in with Vasily? Well I was just getting there. My first true athletic obsession growing up was wrestling. My parent had grown up in Iowa and my Old Man had gone to the Rival high School of Dan Gable. Again if these names are losing you place your hand in front of your face and slap yourself like Rick James. And when I met Dan at the Iowa Wrestling Camp my Ma went up and asked him how he’d been.
My heart kinda stopped.
Dan Gable knew my Ma. Dan Gable referenced my Dad, “Has Mike and Tom finally settled down?”(If you’ve never read this site before my Dad is a wrecking crew of Badass). It was after that first Iowa Wrestling camp that my Ma took me to the Iowa Wrestling museum. Iowa has a very rich wrestling tradition.

So we’re starting to come full circle finally. Of course my Ma would take me to a museum being a historian. It was the coolest museum I’d every been to. It took wrestling back to the beginning talking about Abraham Lincoln being a local wrestler and traveling from town to town taking on challengers. There was also a section of the museum dedicated to Frank Gotch. I wont go anymore off topic but Frank was an original American Catch as Catch Can Wrestling champion. His biggest opponent was George “The Russian Lion” Hackenschmidt

Now old George was a true specimen of his time and a former strongman. I bought a book about the two and their rivalry in the museums gift shop at the end of our trip. In it they listed off odd training that many soviet strongman use to put into practice. Such as Hackenschmidt Bench pressing rediculous amounts of weight while in a full neck bridge for reps. Hackenschmidt is also acredicted for the creation of the “Hack Squat” for thos Gym Rats who know the lift.

But one picture jumped out in me in the book. It wasn’t even a picture of a wrestler. The picture was of a true strongman applying unorthodox methods to his training. This epic Black and White would stay with me for years after turning to that page for the first time in my youth.

The timeless shot of Vasily pulling Iron from the river bed should be familiar to any that have followed Old Country from the beginning. This was our orignal header. In my mind Vasily was Old Country Strong. The combination of an Immovable Object and a Unstoppable force.

Vasily Alexeev was a true Icon of the Iron Game. It broke my heart to recently hear of the mans passing.

The former Soviet Union Super HeavyWeight passed away at the end of November at the age of 69 in a Heart Clinic in Badenhausen, Germany. Vasily won two gold medals and set an amazing 80 world records.

Of those records Vasily’s 1,149 Three lift Olympic Total still stands. Yes, since his time the Olympic Clean and Press has been eliminated from competition meaning the record will never be broke. But in my mind Vasily’s record would never be broke even if the full total was still in the Games. Because just like the picture I saw of in that book, somethings and some people are simply unforgettable.

The World has lost a Great Champion.

Posted by: Z

“The world ain’t going to save itself”

Posted in Articles on December 13, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Last week on OCS we had our annual “Strong is Beautiful” week. If you are coming to the site to read inspirational true life stories, I highly recommend you look at last week’s posts. Today though we are focusing on another important subject. The “Occupy “INSERT CITY NAME”” movement? The race for the Republican nomination? Forget that shit, the trailer for the new GI Joe movie was released.

A quick disclosure; my family are huge GI Joe fans. We got GI Joe tattoos and dress up like GI Joe characters for Halloween. I was so pumped for the last movie, me and Z got absolutely faded in the parking lot outside the Cinerama waiting the midnight showing…and than I drove across the state to go court the next morning. And while we are being honest, the first GI Joe movie was not very good. It had a few moments but it was too corny, they tried too much to make it like the TV series and had super vipers and sonic weapons and submarine battles. The movie script was like trying to get your money’s worth in a 2 hour drinking pass at  a Las Vegas tattoo parlor and bar, seems like a good idea at first that eventually leads to you hoping you will vomit to feel better.  There’s the old line “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, well the first GI Joe movie was broke so god damn it lets fix it. My faith in Hollywood is at stake. Let’s see what we got.

Fuck yes! There are a couple things that I noticed in this trailer which gives me hope.

1. As stated before, the first movie was lackluster. Since this is a sequel how can we fix this? Distance ourselves from the first movie as much as possible. There are a grand total of 5 actors returning from the last movie, which for an ensemble cast movie is a lot of turnover. They are basically pulling a Marvel here. You remember “The Hulk” movie? The one with Eric Ban where they didn’t follow the comic script. There’s a reason you don’t. It was so bad Marvel decided to make a second movie, “The Incredible Hulk” with Ed Norton, and basically act like the first one never happened (quick side note: Ed Norton got fucking screwed in the upcoming Avengers movie, he was the perfect Bruce Banner). Let’s hope we have similar results here.

2. Putting front stage the actor who should have been in the first GI Joe movie, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, president elect of Cascadia. The Rock was made for GI Joe. And they are making up for lost time by having him narrate the whole trailer. The Rock got ready for this role too because he didn’t get into movie shape, he got into pro wrestling shape. When he is holding Roadblock’s .50 cal he looks like he could do it. I have feeling we are going to have a huge throwdown between him and some Cobra baddie where he will layeth the smack down.

3. There will be a lot of Joe casualities in the movie. I only saw Duke in the beginning, could he get killed off? Fine by me, Duke is the Cyclops of the GI Joe squad, the fucking boyscout no one likes.

4. An epic battle between ninjas on the side of a mountain. If that doesn’t get you hot than you are probably on the wrong site right now.

Posted by Nickay

“I’m going Right and Your going Left…”

Posted in Articles on December 11, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Last week for our Second year now we celebrated the fact that Strong is Beautiful on Old Country.

Last week we also started up the Maelstrom once again as we kicked off the 9th Edition Training Cycle. Our week 1 CC video recap highlights a number of our writers last week.

And Here We Go…

Posted by: Z

“The Flower that Blooms in Adversity is the most Rare and Beautiful of all…”

Posted in Articles on December 8, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

One year ago 5 writers decided to speak out.

Their goal wasn’t any radical message. It wasn’t spiteful or full of venom. It wasn’t a fight they were looking to pick. It was simple a statement, “No more, This is our line in the sand.”
They weren’t going to hide anymore. They weren’t going to pretend anymore. They weren’t going to be told what they needed to be or how they needed to look. This was their line, and against what society thought they weren’t going to move.

Last year Roo came to me with a question, “Can I write an article for Old Country…”

That article was the line. And she stood on it. I decided to stand on that line with her. One by one our friends stood on that line with us. We were gonna let everyone know it was ok to be strong. It was ok to not fit some mold we were all told from childhood we needed to fit in.

We wanted everyone to know what we all so deeply believed in, that Strong was Beautiful.

We keep referencing these 5 writers from last year. Marissa, Joey, Carrie and John…
Thats right, we had one former Division 1 college wrestler speak out about his battle with body imagine. Yes we are Strong but even the Strongest are effected by this.

When I started to choose the writers for this years series I knew I wanted to have another male writer. And honestly one named popped into my head. A Club supporter who I actually became close with through this series last year. We live on opposite sides of the border but through this message I found a life long friend in Chris Schaalo.

Chris is a Coach for Crossfit Games Power House Crossfit Taranis and his article today is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever read. Z

When Z asked me to guest post for the annual “Strong is Beautiful” week on OCS I was a little stunned, I’m not exactly a talkative or outspoken person, what makes him think I have great things to say?  However the minute I agreed to take part I knew exactly what I was going to do for the post.  I have a story to share, and I’m probably going to tear up more than a few times writing about it as it is very close to my heart; however, it is one that gives me strength everyday inside and outside the gym.  You see, I have witnessed the quest to be strong save a life and I believe it can save many more.

Now this wasn’t in a physical feat of superhuman strength type way.  There was no mom lifting a car off her child, or boy pulling his younger brother up from a cliff after a slip.  This was far more miraculous.  I was approaching a 23rd birthday, and enjoying the final days of an amazing first Christmas holidays I was able to share with my girlfriend of about 6 months.  Everything was better than I could have expected, I was falling head over heels, spending day after day laughing and learning with her until we had coffee one Saturday night.  She blindsided me, things weren’t working – it was her not me… the usual break up story you hear about.  4 days later I’m pulled aside by a mutual friend at the gym, Alicia is in the hospital – don’t worry she is ok “but she has a long road ahead of her” he says.  He won’t tell me what happened.  Nobody will answer the house phone.  After what was by far the longest 5 hours of my life, most of it spent wondering and worrying on her doorstep, a family friend of hers arrives at the house to collect some things and informs me that Alicia had attempted suicide.  Excuse me?  Suicide?  How in the world does a gorgeous, ambitious, passionate and loving person like this be driven to such an aggressive last resort?

Alicia at 105# (20# heavier than her worst)

It turns out I didn’t know a lot about this girl.  A 5 year period of body image issues, severely disordered eating including bouts of anorexia and bulimia, battles with anxiety, and waves of depression had slowly and brutally beat her down mentally and physically.  Hiding behind an addiction to exercise and an uncanny dedication to seemingly “healthy eating” had enabled her to mask her problems from those who didn’t know her well enough to see through it.  99% of young girls are never able to break free from this demonic struggle – but Alicia has something that most people don’t.  She has the barbell.

The beautiful thing about the barbell is that it doesn’t care.  It doesn’t care whether you’ve had a good day, or whether you’ve eaten the right things.  It doesn’t care whether you’re fighting with your girlfriend, or whether you’re sore from those squats the other day.  The barbell cares about one thing, and one thing only: performance.  The only thing that matters is whether you are stronger than the bar or not, whether you are willing to claw tooth and nail to move it – and if you don’t, are you committed to improving and addressing that load again?  These are traits that can be applied to all areas of life, especially in this case.

For the last 4 years Alicia has dedicated herself to the barbell, she has made a commitment to performance and put her trust in the idea that improving her performance would help her pull herself out of that deep, dark hole.  She has leaned on the barbell during tough times, she has laughed and had fun with the barbell during the lighter times – and each and every day she’s made herself stronger.  Yes, she squats more, presses more, and snatches more than she did 4 years ago; however, her real strength gains have come in mind.  The barbell has taught Alicia a lot about herself, she has learned to be confident, to be proud of herself, and most importantly the barbell has taught her that failing is nothing to be ashamed about, that quitting is not an option, and that success is a product of determination.  Though the demons are still persistent in her mind today, they are much quieter now – more of whisper originating over her shoulder than the every second of every day consuming inner voice of control she used to fight.  Her ability to take the lessons she has learned under the barbell and apply them to herself in her life is truly amazing.

Every moment I catch myself ashamed, disappointed, or down about life – Alicia wanders into my mind. The girl she was before reminds me that I am a lucky person, that things could be much much worse, and that there is always hope.  The young woman she is now show’s me her tattoos, the daily reminders to herself that the fight is worth it, that one day she will break free from it all. The tattoo on her left forearm says “Above All Love Yourself” and the tattoo on her front right trap reads “Beauty in Strength.”  She reminds me that, in the barbell, I have a weapon that most people don’t have.  She tells me to use it, to lean on it when I need to, and to have a little fun with it from time to time.

These past 4 years really have been a long road, along the way Alicia has done nothing but get stronger each and every day, and in doing so (though she probably doesn’t realize it) she has made those of us close to her stronger.  That my friends is truly beautiful.

Article by: Chris Schaalo

I want to thank Chris and Alicia for standing on the line this week. We have celebrated the triumphs and power that come from what we do. But please don’t let it end with this week. There will always be someone who needs some one on that line with them. Please don’t turn off the beacon. Everyone who had read one on these articles. Everyone who has identified with one of these writers please continue to stand on that line. Be that Strength for those who haven’t found it yet. We all can find the strength in each other to stand on this line, our line, and let every close minded person know the truth.

That Strong is truly Beautiful…

Posted by: Z


Posted in Articles on December 7, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

Who do you see when you look in the mirror?
If it’s anything like what I see, we’ve got some work to do.

…And we’ll do it together.
You’re stuck with me, so don’t try and push me away.

Ya know, you and me, we’re never satisfied.
We’re our own worst enemy.
You feel neither strong nor beautiful,
Because we’re always looking forward, always wanting more from ourselves.
And you’ll never let what you give be good enough.

You know those demons…
They’re whispering all the time. I know you can hear them.
They sit on your chest when you’re trying to metcon.
They gnaw at your wrists when you’re trying to rack.
They say all the right things to break your spirit.
They know all your secrets.

But I’ll be there with my hand on your back.
I’ll push you even when you don’t know which way is up.

Because you and me, we just need to keep moving.
Brick by brick, we’ll build this.
We’ll work, even when there’s no one but me to see you.

Don’t be afraid.
Because there is strength even in failure
and beauty in the struggle.

And one day you’ll start seeing yourself the way I see you.
The flame, not the moth.

You’re not alone.

If your shadow could talk, would you listen?

Strong is Beautiful

Article by: GogO
Posted by: Z