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Creative Writing


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The brain uses two separate processes to piece together language; Encoding and Retrieval.  Encoding starts with letter recognition such as shape and sound which is then used to develop word recognition and ultimately ending in meaning and understanding.  This can also include encoding verbal, non-verbal and body language from others.  Retrieval on the other hand, also termed ‘Expressive language’, is the brain’s ability to express thoughts into words, name things, and execute word finding.

Enhancing Language

Increasing the time spent with words and exposure to a variety of words develops associations and connections within the brain. Individual attention with each process is needed in order to improve one’s language skills.

To improve encoding one should read, learn new words, learn a new language, use mind maps to attach details to a main idea, and play word search puzzles to mention a few.

To improve retrieval skills one should retell a story, name pictures, play crossword puzzles, play categories or any other activity that requires the individual to retrieve previously stored information using associations or free recall.  An example of retrieval using associations would be asking an individual to name or classify a picture seen on a flash card.  For free recall, remove any visual, auditory or kinesthetic clue to help them retrieve the right information.  An example being the verbal fluency activity which asks the individual to name as many items from a particular category.

Try these language puzzles during your workout today.

1.) Encoding Word List

2.) Retrieval: Every minute on the minute, name as many items from each category as possible. 1 point per word, discount repeats and plurals.

1st minute: Farm Animals

2nd minute: Zoo Animals

3rd minute: School Supplies

4th minute: Gym Equipment

5th minute: Food

*Mix in a round of your favorite movement during one or more of the minutes for maximum brain benefits!

Today’s BrainWOD: 091014

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Somersault shuttle: 1 forward roll / 1 backward roll

2 forward rolls / 2 backward rolls

3 forward rolls / 3 backward rolls

30 squats

3 rounds.

Creative Writing task:

In 90 seconds, list items found in a car. Record as many as possible.

Then, in 9 minutes, write a story including as many of the items as possible. Don’t place the story in a car.


Today’s BrainWOD: “Noble”

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Art show at IgniteGymHQ

Write a story that begins with the word “Noble,” includes the word “evil,” and ends with the word “sweeping.”

Scaling: Under 6: <50 words

7-10: 50-100 words

11-15: 150-200 words

16+: >250 words

…for every occurrence of “the” in your story, do five wall balls. For every occurrence of “and,” do five pushups. For every occurrence of “but” or “that,” do five burpees. Perform each exercise as soon as you use its associated word.

The ConcussionPro tracking log is now available for purchase in our online store!


Today’s Workout: “Cursive Shuttles”

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Warmup: Somersaults, squats, T-planks

Focus Drill: single-eye tracing, dominant and nondominant hands

Write the full alphabet, using cursive script, in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Then, as many rounds as possible in 10:00:

Write, in cursive script, a sequence of randomly-generated letters:

Ages 4-6: 5 letters

Ages 7-10: 10 letters

Ages 11 and up: 15 letters

Sprint Shuttle: 30m, 20m, 10m

A random-letter generator is here.

Example: a five-year-old is given five random letters (visually or audibly.) After they link them in cursive script, they race through the 30m, 20m and 10m shuttle run, and then get five more letters. They continue until the clock runs out, and receive one point for every full round complete.

Read: Daniel Rodriguez’ Big Win, from CrossFit Journal.


Daily Challenge: Morning Pages

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3 Rounds

Run 400 M
15 Pull ups (Mix of Beginner, Jumping and Assisted Pull ups okay)
15 Push ups
15 sit ups
15 squats

Then, without break:

Write 3 “Morning Pages.” Front side only, but fill three pages. Anything goes. Handwritten is best for eye tracking, but an online tool called 750words.com is also useful:

Clearing the Palate
When taste-testers are moving from item to item, they typically carry a glass of water to remove the residues from the last item they tasted. They also typically wait several minutes in between morsels, so as not to allow one sample to taint the next. The ‘rinse and spit’ method has great psychological benefit to your brain.
By the time you reach your workplace in the morning, your brain is likely already crammed with to-do-lists, virtual sticky notes, emotional reactions to the goings-on in your house that morning, wishes, anxiety, foreboding, joy…and they all try to organize themselves on top of one another. They fight for top-of-mind supremacy. “Don’t forget me!” “I’m most important….”
This jumble creates a memory logjam, right when we should be most creative. In some cultures, awakening means a slow rampup to work; in others, like ours, it means a scramble to try and recall all the stressors present from the night before.
To rid oneself of these, free up the mind (especially the right hemisphere,) and decrease emotional attachment, some like to start the day with a prayer. Some sing. Some busy themselves with an enjoyable task (they stop to fish.) Some, like me, write.
I use a tool called 750words.com to track how much I’m writing every day. I shoot for 3 pages – about 750 words – in the time-honoured tradition of ‘morning pages.’ I just write the stuff that’s on the top of my head, and on any given day, it can be checklists, forget-me-nots, emotions I’m feeling, or even reactions to others (the letters I’d never send.) It’s a powerful tool, and it primes me for activity, much the way stretching can get you ready to face the physical challenges of the day ahead.
Content doesn’t matter. Sentence structure, spelling, grammar…these are all secondary, and some would argue that they get in the way of true recount, and that they should be avoided; that there should be no ‘backspace’ on 750words.com. I don’t agree, because I want to keep my thoughts organized and clean, but I understand their point.
The system rewards compliance: complete 750 words for three days running, and you’ll get a little green flag that says, “Congratulations!”….after that, you’ll get a different one (you’ll have to see for yourself.) Your challenge: write 750 words, per day, every day, for one month.