When life throws you an unexpected curveball — the kind of event that turns everything you know upside down — what do you do?
In 2016, Jason Khalipa and his wife Ashley would be put in a scenario that would forever shift how they lived their lives. Their daughter Ava was diagnosed with Leukemia, and Jason and Ashley found themselves in a position that would not only require courage, but also an AMRAP mentality.
“I knew a week after diagnosis that this is what we had been training for,” Khalipa told me. “We were as well prepared as we could have possibly been for this particular situation. And I’m grateful every day that we embrace this mindset to help us get there. Now, that being said, I don’t ever wish it on anybody. I don’t wish it on us again. [But] I knew that because we had worked so hard on our business and relationships [that] my wife and I did everything we could to be ready to take this on. And I want to share that message with more people. If we can do that, then we’re accomplishing our goal.”
After I read his book AMRAP Mentality, I got the chance to catch up with Khalipa about developing an AMRAP Mentality and his thoughts on the latest CrossFit Games changes.
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I never realized all the benefits of years of competing until Ava got sick. We think of fitness as a way to improve our physical health, but it’s also extremely powerful for our mindset. I’d recommend everyone to get up, try something new and overcome the challenge. This way if life ever throws you a curve ball, you’ll be just a little bit better to receive it. Start with a walk, some squats, or a marathon (which I’m signing up for today) get a bit uncomfortable and overcome It. This was a short clip from a podcast I did with @carlpaoli search The Freestyle Way to listen. #amrapmentality
Jason Khalipa Discusses AMRAP Mentality and the 2019 CrossFit Games
The Book: AMRAP Mentality
In 2013, Khalipa started writing his latest published book AMRAP Mentality. The AMRAP Mentality is a no frills book that highlights how hard work, consistency, and a whole lot of grit can help anyone be the best version of themselves and achieve their goals.
Unlike other self-proclaimed self-help books on the market, Khalipa wanted his book to tell a different kind of story.
“I wanted to write a book that that had no fluff and no bullshit,” he said. “I’m so tired of picking up these [self-help] books. And they’re just so fluffy with content. I didn’t want any fluff. For example, if the page didn’t add value, we’d pull the page out. That was the theory.”
On top of offering a no bullshit approach, Khalipa also sought to support other families who are currently battling pediatric cancer. AMRAP Mentality details a multi-step approach to encountering some of life’s biggest questions and challenges. .
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Today is Ava’s birthday. Years ago when she was born I designed a workout. It is 400m run 21 Ground to Overhead 95# (snatch or C&J). Rest 2:53 after each round. Every year you add a round. I haven’t taken the rest yet but I sure will when she turns 15 haha. Today she turns 7 so we did 7 rounds. Good motivation for parents out there, design a workout and add a round every year. Have fun if you try It! @nc_fit #gogold🎗
In the world of fitness, AMRAP means “as many reps as possible”, but you don’t have to be heavily invested in functional fitness training to understand the benefits and message behind Khalipa’s AMRAP mentality.
“I think this book is for anybody who’s looking to build an edge and overcome obstacles that they don’t expect to happen in their life,” he explained.
In the book, Khalipa discussed three major components of the AMRAP mentality that can be applied to nearly every aspect of life. These include:
- Earned Confidence
- Focus On What You Can Control
- Positive Self-Talk
These three components have helped Khalipa in his personal life and at the CrossFit Games. For anyone who lacks one of these three things, Khalipa offered a game plan to help develop them. He stressed the importance of doing something that you normally don’t want to do on a daily basis, and then to do it for a little bit, every single day. He points out that earned confidence goes hand-in-hand with hard work.
“I think the key is to find something that makes you uncomfortable and overcome it every day, then you can see how that plays into everything else.”
The true essence of the AMRAP mentality is developing a process and means for making every minute in life count. Whether you’re training for the Games, starting a business, or simply wanting to improve your mindset, this book can help facilitate the concept of finding your “why” and main motivation in life with a no frills and bullshit approach.
Jason Khalipa On the 2019 CrossFit Games Changes
Outside of chatting on the book, we also talked about the CrossFit Games and all of the recent changes they’ve gone through. As a multi-game CrossFit Games athlete, a 2008 Games Champion, and a gym owner (NCFIT), I really wanted to know what Khalipa thought about all the changes going on.
To bring you up to speed, CrossFit has undergone quite a few changes since last year. These changes have impacted the CrossFit Games, and have shifted more of CrossFit HQ’s attention from the Games to CrossFit Health.
“Do I think pursuing CrossFit Health is a good idea? Of course,” said Khalipa. “But I think the reason why there’s so much dissension going on right now in the community is [because of] the way the changes were done. The communication just wasn’t thoroughly thought out, and that’s why there’s a lot of speculation. That’s where everybody’s kind of being wrapped up about right now.”
Khalipa recalled that some of his favorite memories from being a CrossFit Games athletes was standing on the podium with his son and daughter in 2013 and 2014. He’s worried of what might happen to the Games in the long run.
“Part of me is sad with the CrossFit Games changes, to be honest with you,” he added. “I’m on the verge of [being] heartbroken because I don’t know what’s going to happen with it. I just hope that if CrossFit decides to keep pursuing health, which again, I don’t think is a bad thing, I hope that they continue to pick up the Games and build it into something that everybody can be proud of. Something that represents the community and represents the hard work put in.”
A lot of the examples used in AMRAP Mentality circle back to Khalipa’s experience competing in the CrossFit Games. His mindset — outside of being an incredible athlete — is what he felt made him so tenacious as a podium contender.
“I’m very concerned about how participation will be and who knows with Sanctionals and everything else going on,” he said. “So I have no idea what’s going to happen. But, you know … that’s just another reason why you got to focus on things that are in your control and you can’t worry about what everybody else is going to do.”
If you have the time, then I highly suggest picking up AMRAP Mentality. It’s a short and powerful read that offers a no BS approach to tackling some of life’s biggest questions and challenges. Whether you’re an avid functional fitness athlete, or someone just starting in fitness, AMRAP Mentality can have multiple benefits for you.
Feature image from @jasonkhalipa Instagram page.