Today is a big day!

It’s the first day of the week, it’s the first day of the month, and it’s the first day of the next chapter for!!!

As I described a few weeks ago, beginning today, we’ll be posting regularly as a group of literary Ninjas instead of me doing everything as a one-man-band. So, without further ado, let me begin with the recap of my 2016 CrossFit Games experience…

We arrived to the parking lot of the StubHub center at 6:00AM on Monday, July 18th. Our semi driver, with a 53′ trailer full of kitchen equipment, was waiting for us to direct him where to park so we could unload. Memo and I had flown in the day before and hit a quick workout with Jose Soto at Backyard CrossFit. We planned to go into the week full of energy, and having a relaxed start with some exercise and tacos was just the ticket!

Within 2 hours we had worked with the Stubhub directors to delineate where our booth would be, received shipment of 3 double-stack convection ovens, unloaded the 53′ trailer, retrieved a reefer truck from the rental company, coordinated the delivery of several Ice Age Meals chest freezers, and begun plans for a last-minute-because-another-food-vendor-dropped-out taco stand called Tahoe Taco.

Our friends from RX Smart Gear stopped by and helped us assemble our main tent, then Zone Tone and Heather Turski stopped by and helped construct the front counter. I moved all gear to the perimeter of our space and took a quick break, when I shot this video…

Over the next several days, planning, communicating and coordinating was the name of the game. From the arrival of our prepared, frozen food, to ordering fresh produce, caravan-ing 15 Ninjas from Reno, assembling 7 – 10′ x 20′ canopies, filling propane tanks, the water delivery, ice delivery, setup of the 3-compartment sinks, organization of the paper goods, dry storage area, freezer truck, refrigerator truck, 3 reach-in coolers, layout of the front counter, serving line, back kitchen, taco booth, scheduling, ongoing food orders and procurement, cooking for Matt Fraser and Katrin Davidsdottir, making “Chippers” in 90-degree weather, doing a cooking demo at the CrossFit SME booth, you name it, the waking hours would be filled with action.

We had “The Other Paleo Nick” in from Minneapolis and Jay Phelan of JWilliam Culinary in from Jacksonville. We had a herd of local helpers who gathered for a quick meeting on Wednesday night. The action started Thursday morning and we had a wild day slangin’ food like Armageddon had arrived. We were so busy that we didn’t even open Tahoe Taco. It took all hands on deck just to serve our normal menu, so the tacos would have to wait.

By Friday at noon, the plancha was hot and the taco procession commenced. The tacos were a popular addition, but not quite as popular as the Tri-Tip. It was a full-time job keeping the grass-fed goodness roasted and sliced and by Saturday afternoon, we were out of the 1,000 pounds that we brought down from Reno.

The line was hopping sending out Thai Turkey Toss-Ups, SFH Mango-Berry Chillers, and 24oz. cups of Paleoade (unsweetened lemonade). Every time @turn2crossfit came by the booth, I swindled him into working even though he just completed 3 grueling days of workouts as a 54 year-old master athlete. But not to worry, I was sure to give him a kiss on the cheek in exchange for slave labor…

I could post 1,000 pictures, but that would be too many. If you want to see more action, please check out my Facebook page, where we’ve posted more photos. I want to keep this recap to 1,000 words, so let me wrap this baby up!

By Sunday, we had all wheels in motion and I shot a quick video of the back of the house. Check this one out…

While the operation wasn’t as large as it was last year, it was more dialed as we still had a staff of over 40 people to help out.

I want to say thank you to Kim, Dan, Rebecca, Kelly, Loren, Arlett, Knutzen, Memo, Diana, Jonathan, Irais, Salome, Fidel, Alex, Nancy, Arturo, Alex, Kevin, Liz, Efrain, Bobby, Niko, Rachel, Tony, Heather, Cinny, Danny, Jason, Cecilia, Sierra, Hilkeydottir, Robert, Jason, Amber, Erica, Chris, Amy, Monica, Tom, Jake, Jay, Jessie, and anyone else who I am forgetting. Paleo Nick’s wouldn’t have happened without you, and I enjoy each one of your personalities, work ethic, and sense of humor. We proved once again, that you can have fun, even while working really, really hard.

We don’t know what the future of The CrossFit Games holds, but I am more confident than ever, that, wherever it ends up being, we have a team of Ninjas who will rise to the occasion and step forward to battle it out in the next Food-mageddon!

I’ve always believed that hard work is rewarded with the opportunity to work hard once more. On Monday, July 25th, we loaded the 53′ trailer once again. However, this time, instead of shipping the goods to The Paleo Test Kitchen, where they came from, the trailer was unloaded at our new freezer facility. It’s a 4,000 square foot warehouse with a 2,000 square foot freezer on a one acre parcel of land. There is no shortage of work to be done at the new facility, so please stay tuned as I document the adventure.

Until next year, thank you to all who helped, to all who patronized the booth and to all of you reading this and supporting my work. I appreciate you all more than you know and hope that I’ll one day be able to repay you in spades.

In the meantime, “Keep It Paleo!”.

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

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