I’m not going to lie and say I was raring to go this morning. Getting up at 515A regularly is hard – I desperately wanted to hit snooze, roll over and get some more Zzz’s. But I can’t do that. I like the benefits of exercise too much to compromise and one hour of sleep isn’t going to make that much of a big difference in the grand scheme of my day. The only person that I have to battle with to get my butt up is me and I can handle me! I got this and so do you.
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about why we workout and strive to live a fit life. And then I ran across an article by Mark Rippetoe: Bodyfat and Age: Just How Important Is Thin? Think rationally, not subjectively, about bodyfat and it’s good food for thought. I didn’t discover my love of fitness until I was in my thirties – so I didn’t enjoy the 20 year old “i look super hot in this bikini stage” – and for me, the reason I strive to be fit goes way beyond vanity. I am reminded why I continue on whenever I see seniors who have lived a fairly inactive adult life struggle to do daily tasks because it has caught up with them. I don’t want that to be my path — and by staying active and continually challenging myself, I’m doing what I can. When was the last time you thought about why you workout?
- Fitness: Exercise Helps Children With ADHD in Study
- Life Lessons-Body Image: We Are Not Victims of Our Bodies
- Health: Why Are We So Fat? The Multimillion-Dollar Scientific Quest to Find Out
- Strength Training incl Isometric Barbell Training
I struggled with my energy level this morning – I am still feeling sore from Saturday’s CrossFit workout and forgot to drink Natural Calm magnesium last night to help with my overall recovery. Lesson learned…
Four straight days of exercise has left me sore — My quads are so sore it hurts to walk down stairs — so today is a rest day. Rest and recovery is just as important as exercise in your overall health and wellness plan. It’s the times you haven’t taken enough rest time and aren’t on top of your game that you get injured.
This past weekend, the topic of body image was on my mind. I follow some modeling agencies on Instagram -one of the many fashion weeks has just passed and I kept noticing how thin the models look. Not healthy thin either. For a brief moment, I thought maybe my outlook changed because I am around strong women who workout and have muscles. Annie Thorisdottir and Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet are the type of women I see in the magazines and websites I frequent. But then I realized that wasn’t it – they really are too thin. Even my 12 year old daughter mentioned how emaciated they looked. It bothered me to see that this sort of look is still favored in the world of fashion. We all need to make sure we are having regular and real conversations with our kids about body image. Just the other day I read a post about a woman making sure her sons see her naked on occasion, so they don’t develop a warped sense of what a women’s body looks like….
- 11 Facts About Body Image
- For the sake of young girls, the conversation about body image needs to change (guest opinion)
- Yes, you should feel bad for models: we’re being told to go diet – or go broke
- Life Lessons: You’ll Never Throw Coffee Grounds Away Again
- Life Lessons: Stop Accumulating Stuff And Start Accumulating Experiences
- Fitness: Your Fancy Non-Cotton Workout Clothes Stink
A friend of mine sent me an article about Feeling Burnt out about CrossFit and how to find the joy again. What I found interesting was that it didn’t mention actually taking a step away from CrossFit for an extended amount of time, which is what I am doing. I’ve also been doing some reading about how many veteran CrossFitters are burning out and many CF gyms don’t know how to address the needs of this group. Yesterday, Kaylee Suitors on one of the CF boards I visit shared a post that I think is a worthwhile read, however I think it ignores one big issue: Would what she is proposing convince me or do enough for me to want to continue to pay a monthly membership fee? I’m not sure there is an answer that is right and it depends on the person but at the end of the day, each individual needs to figure out what works for them. If a workout or fitness program is not working, you are not seeing results, you aren’t having fun, or you are getting injured regularly, then it’s not working – period. You have to find something you enjoy doing or it’s not sustainable. And living healthy is a life long effort…
“How to be Awesome at CrossFit”
You may think that this is an article about cycling butterfly pull ups or getting a One rep max on your Snatch…. Buuuut No!
Recently I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my veteran athletes and what I can do to prevent them from burn out. Many are 3-5 years in and I can see on their faces that its just not the same as it was when they started. No more huge PR, no more crazy gymnastic movements that they never thought they would do past child hood. And, oh, that group of friends that would always WOD together in the beginning have been replaced with a bunch of new bees that are having a blast.
So, as a coach with general concern for each and every athlete in my box, I want this fixed!!! I racked my brain to think of special programs just for them, open gyms that cater to the time frame their schedules need, creating social gathering to make it feel like the “old” days, hour long heart to hearts to just chew the fat and make sure, in all this craziness of running a CF gym, I do not loose touch with those original members that birthed our box. I truly love these guys and want them to be happy, but in trying so hard to make them happy, I am going nuts!
I came to the realization today while talking to a friend. My really Awesome CrossFitters have completed the “cycle”. And what is the cycle you may ask? It’s simple. Come to CrossFit, it will make you awesome at life. It will tear you down shred you up and pour you out a whole new person. A better person…. If you let it.
I look at many of my veterans and think “you are almost there, you are almost Awesome, but not yet” You see CrossFit is about you and your growth through the cycle. People come in the door looking for a life change. “It’s really hard, we tell them and you better be ready, so don’t waste our time and we won’t waste yours”.
The first year is huge for most members. Weight loss, strength gains, Personal records, first competitions or 5ks, first handstand, first Double Unders… the list goes on. We take you from ordinary to superman and its exhilarating!
These accomplishments in the gym transfer to life and confidence and doing things you never thought possible. BUT… then year 2 and 3 hit and dang it I got injured, now I’m regressing and that new person just killed my best Fran time. I’m not eating as clean anymore because… well really who cares? I like nachos. Everyone seems to be having fun and where the heck are all my old buddies? Sooo, I’m not making progress, I’m no longer having fun and I feel like crap whenever I WOD (may have been that little Caesars I just ate). It’s just not the same. I only come to the box about twice a week now, but you better believe I’m going RX, I’m a veteran and everyone know I’ve been a member forever. But dang it, I keep getting injured! I’m going to QUIT, this sucks!
So heres my challenge… Complete the cycle. I know you came to CrossFit to change Your life, and do all the things listed above. But, to be truly Awesome at CrossFit despite the injuries, plateaus, set backs and generally bad days, YOU MUST GET OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF. To truly enjoy the ride and experience of CrossFit and Life, you must get pass yourself. When was the last time you helped someone else find their PR, or ran the last 400m meters with the new guy so he wouldn’t finish alone? When was the last time you showed someone how to roll out that nagging shoulder issue because, crazy, but thats the same injury you dealt with last year. When was the last time you gave a high five after a WOD or helped another exhausted athlete put up her weights? When was the last time you encouraged another to run their first 5k and offered to run along side, not for you to get a new PR but for them to?
You see all these little things that keep life amazing can be found in small day to day tasks, that you may never see if you are not paying attention. Joy is found in serving. Happiness comes in the satisfaction of touching another life in a positive way.
At the end of the day, theres nothing wrong with wanting to be a better athlete and continuing to make progress. But if its your only aspiration and you never see the new person next to you, scared to death because its day one, then you will never really complete the cycle of CrossFit. You will never experience fully what CrossFit can do for you. CrossFit changes people if you let it. CrossFit can take an ordinary person, turn them into extraordinary then show you how to do that for someone else. If you will work through the cycle, this will not only change your CrossFit experience, but can possibly change your life.
And THAT’S How to be Awesome at CrossFit!
Try This: Aveda Smooth Infusion
I’m always appreciative when brands ask me to try out new products like Aveda Smooth Infusion. I’m excited to try this one out and will share my thoughts once I have used it for a while, so stay tuned.
- Life Lessons-Body Image: IT HAPPENED TO ME: I WROTE AN ARTICLE ABOUT MARRIAGE, AND ALL ANYONE NOTICED IS THAT I’M FAT
- Life Lessons: Why They Stayed
- Life Lessons: The NFL Has Proven It Does Not Care About Women
- Nutrition: Six Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Waste Your Money on “Cage-Free” Eggs
Yesterday’s Yoga theme was BALANCE and the idea that the universe needs it and will do what is necessary to gain it. I’m sure we all have seen examples in our lives of the chaos that ensues when things are out of balance. We eat too much, drink too much, clutter up our spaces, overindulge in things that we shouldn’t. They are signs of things being out of whack in our lives.
A great example of someone trying to regain balance in their lives is Max Schireson, the chief executive of a software company, who made headlines because he decided to step down to spend more time with his family. Countless women make this choice regularly but it’s rare for a man to do it and then talk about it.
When I start to feel overwhelmed and unable to get a handle on things happening in my life – my house gets messier, I become annoyed and irritated, I eat more, and I have a tendency to sleep a lot more than I normally do (I love to sleep in general).
Learning how to balance life’s ever changing hills and valleys is a life long process but here are some good tips I have found:
- How to Create a Balanced Life: 9 Tips to Feel Calm and Grounded
- 3 Simple Things You Can Do To Improve Work-Life Balance In The U.S.
- Life Lessons: 10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out
- Life Lessons: WHAT A TEENAGE BOY NEEDS MOST FROM HIS MOM
- Fitness: This Exercise-Loving Mom Works Out With Her Kids, Inspires Us To Get Moving
- Fitness: The Skinny on Pre-workout Supplements
- Nutrition: The Whole Truth About Soy Lecithin
Did you happen to watch the CrossFit Games this past week? What an awesome display of athleticism and community. It makes me feel like working out harder and it also makes me feel like I am way out of shape. HA! Someone posed a question online about whether the CF Games actually hurts local affiliates because the general public thinks that those athletes are the normal CrossFitter. They aren’t- CrossFitters come in all shapes, sizes and fitness levels.
Watching the games on TV this weekend also reminded me how big the whole thing has become. 3-4 years ago, the crowd was small and intimate and the athletes weren’t celebrities, they were just people working out. Times change…
Congrats to Camille and Rich! Both worked hard and completely earned their first place wins!
For those not familiar with the CrossFit Games – any athlete can buy into the CrossFit Open. It’s a series of weekly workouts over a 6 week (I think) period that you perform, post your scores – which are then validated by a Certified CrossFit Gym or you can submit a video. The top scores/athletes from each of the regions get invited to the Regionals, where they spend a few days vying for a spot to the Games. The top 3 from each region go to the games. It’s a long process that starts in the Spring and ends in August in Carson, California. The main Games features CrossFit athletes but they have Master’s divisions (40+) and then of course, there is CrossFit Kids (they don’t compete at the Games).
One of my CrossFit buds and friend Jason Sturm is featured on the cover of the most recent The Box magazine I met him at CrossFit Rubicon and have always just been genuinely in awe of him. What a great way to honor a great guy…
- Boxing: Why Lifting Weights Won’t Increase Punching Power
- Fitness: The Science Behind the World’s Greatest Athletes
- Fitness: 6 OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING HABITS TO BREAK TODAY!
- Nutrition: PALEO LUNCHES IN A BOX
- CrossFit: CrossFit’s big growth fuels concerns
This video makes me feel cuddly inside: Baby and pit bull puppy snuggle up
Today’s yoga class theme was all about listening to your body which was quite timely as I have been following an interesting discussion in a Master’s CrossFit Group (+40 years old) all about feeling like you need a break and adrenal fatigue.
Here is the post that started the very active discussion:
It’s the first time since I started CrossFit over 2.5 years that I feel like quitting. Since I became menopausal, I’ve had to deal with one issue after the other. The most prominent is adrenal fatigue. My body has said “enough!” Thankfully I’m able to do my best to follow the suggestions from professionals. Just a few days back I received more discouraging news so I feel like throwing the towel in. I sure hope I don’t stay in this place too long. Anyone else out there having this experience?
I think this happens to a lot of folks actually and may be the reason behind my recent break from CrossFit. I was starting to really struggle through the workouts – my body was unusually sore, and I just lacked the energy and motivation to really push. I also was gaining weight and losing interest in something that at one time was the source of so much fun in my life.
I think we are conditioned to ignore certain signs and feelings – the attitude of pushing through the pain or suck it up. There is an element to that in life, but there are also tell tale signs when it’s something more than simply needing a push. It’s the time to quiet your mind and really pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. If you love something and gradually you start to see your enthusiasm for it die down — stop and take a look at what’s going on. Chances are there are signs that will lead you to figure out what’s going on. But you have to stop and listen!
CrossFit is a wonderful method to get in shape for everyone, however a 20 something year old is very different than a 40 year old athlete. The body has had twenty more years of use and for some, abuse. There are lots of physical and chemical issues that come a long with aging that there is NO way to compete on a truly equal level. CrossFit is full of young kids and it’s important for the Master athletes to keep their ego in check and realize that the only person they can equally compete against is themselves. But what happens is you see that young whipper snapper pushing through – kicking ass and your inner voice starts to speak louder, demanding you step up. You have to train that voice to shift perspective and push for progress. For me – I have to remember to stop and ask myself a few questions: Am I having fun? Am I learning? Is it working?
For me, the right thing is to take a break from CrossFit and the programming at the gym I was at – try some different approaches and find my inspiration and passion again. I hope this encourages you to take time daily to quiet your mind and listen.
- Health: The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains
- Health: TREATING CHRONIC FATIGUE AND ADRENAL FATIGUE NATURALLY
- Nutrition: Tip: The Best Way to Keep A Cut Avocado Fresh
- Fitness: Can 12 Minutes of Exercise Help Close the Achievement Gap?
- Fitness: 4 Basic Tips For a Healthier, Better Body
- Fitness: Six options for family fitness, from rock-climbing to yoga
- Life Lessons: Anna Deavere Smith on Discipline and How We Can Learn to Stop Letting Others Define Us
I have now been boxing for about 4 weeks – I have some observations to share: I was pleasantly surprised to find out that in addition to 8 rounds of boxing with the heavy bag, you start off with a solid 15 minute warm up a challenging 15 minute core/strength/mobility to finish up the hour. I have already seen results after four weeks — which is always encouraging!
The thing about exercise for most of us – it needs to have certain qualities: Safe, Effective and Fun! I recently read about a certain burn out that many CrossFit gyms see in their members after one or two years. I think what happens is coaches/owners are very focused on new members, making sure they learn the basics and are learning safely. All good things.. however, that means the members who have been there a while, tend to get less attention. I get that you can’t expect to be coached every minute of the class, however – you should expect to have some oversight and regular attention and coaching on what you are doing. After a year or two, if those members considered ‘advanced’ or at the very least beyond a beginner, don’t have an outlet for the updated coaching they need – it’s easy to see how one can become bored and unmotivated. I think that is what I have experienced in both of the CF gyms I have been members of –I have a ton of learning to do when it comes to strength training and body mechanics but the learning extends beyond the basics at this point. And yes, I can do it on my own, however I work better in a group setting which is what I love about CF. I feed off of the group energy — so, there you have it. CrossFit gyms need to ensure they have programs and an outlet for those members who need the next level of coaching in my opinion!
- Life Lessons: How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings
- Life Lessons: OVERCOME YOUR PROGRAMMING AND BE A BETTER MAN
- Health & Fitness: The Science of the One-Inch Punch
- Health & Fitness: Kelly Starrett: Master of Motion
I hope everyone spent yesterday’s holiday the way they wanted! And took time to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we have. After all, that’s what the holiday is all about. Many folks in the CrossFit community do a workout entitled “Murph“, to honor Murph” – Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. He was 29, from Patchogue, N.Y. Lt Murphy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after his death. It’s a brutal workout if done completely – but the point is to do it in his honor, so 1/2 Murph or any sort of combo is fine too!
Learn more about Murph’s bravery and who he was…
I spent some time yesterday just sitting on my deck, feeling the somewhat cool breeze and soaking in the rays for a bit. I find sometimes that that’s one of the most effective ways for me to unwind and be still. I have been feeling out of sorts and am working my way back to whatever my normal is this week —
- Life Lessons: 8 Navy SEAL Self Confidence Tips
- Life Lessons: A New Memoir About What Happens When You Get Rid of All Your Stuff
- CrossFit: Why I don’t do CrossFit
- Fitness: DON’T GET BULKY – And other stupid things I hear…
- Nutrition: Gluten Cross-Reactivity UPDATE: How your body can still think you’re eating gluten even after giving it up.
- Nutrition: If Your Food Told the Brutal Truth
- Health & Fitness: If you’re fat and lose weight, you’re probably gonna get fat again
- Health & Fitness: HAS INSTAGRAM MADE DIETING MORE DANGEROUS?
Sunday: Power Boxing with HB
Monday: Power Boxing
Meeting Major, the young football player yesterday made me think about how many of us don’t take mobility seriously. He’s a young, healthy kid who plays for a college in NC and yet, he doesn’t really do any sort of stretching/mobility work in his overall training. I wonder if this is the norm for many young athletes – they do basic stretching but don’t really spend dedicated time working on it. And maybe it’s not as vital for them because they are young but when you get older – it’s vital. I found some resources and exercises to help with overall hip mobility:
My personal favorite pose is the half pigeon (pictured to the right). I feel so much better after that pose – physically and mentally. As I have mentioned before, we hold a lot of emotions in our hips…
This weekend is the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Regionals. For those that aren’t familiar, this is where all the amazing local athletes that performed well during the CrossFit Open compete. The top three Men/Women/Teams are invited to compete at the Official CrossFit Games in California this summer. It’s being held at George Mason/Patriot Center this year – I’m going to go check it out for a bit on Sunday. They hold regionals across the world during this time —
There are some amazing athletes competing – including some kick ass, strong, inspiring women. CrossFit created a video highlighting the Women of the Mid-Atlantic … Enjoy!
- CrossFit: Can the National Pro Fitness League Become the Next Big Thing?
- CrossFit: The Geography of American CrossFit Enthusiasm
- CrossFit: CHANGING WOMEN’S PERSPECTIVE ON BODY IMAGE
- CrossFit: Want A Body Like Rick Ross? Try ‘RossFit’
- Health: What Doctors Can Tell About Your Health Just By Looking At Your Nails
- Health: Link between fast food and depression confirmed
- Health: The Heart Association’s Junk Science Diet
Charlie Day’s Merrimack College Commencement Address
- One hour Title Boxing Club Power Boxing