Rowing is a staple CrossFit exercise.  You get tremendous benefit as you are engaging your entire body, as well as getting a tremendous cardiovascular response. A lot of the time we assume we can just hop on the rower and get started without any instruction. There is, however, a bit of technique involved to help you be more efficient while rowing.

1. The angle of your back when rowing is very important. Some people try staying straight up and down throughout the motion and others over exaggerate it by almost laying down as they pull. Aim for a 30 degree angle each direction. 30 degrees leaning backward as your hamstrings begin to tighten. Then 30 degrees forward as you begin your way back to the front of the machine.

2. The timing of your return and your posture is also very important while rowing. Do not begin making your way to the front until you pull that handle all the way to your body. Then lean forward 30 degrees past 90 as you release your hands, point your tailbone to the back of the rower, and maintain that same angle until you start back again.

3. The positioning of your hands is also important. You do not want to pull it to your belly nor should you pull it to your neck. Imagine there is a table sitting chest high. You want to pretend your finger tips are grazing the top of the table as you pull.  As you make your way to the front your hands are ever so slightly beneath that table, as if the top of your knuckles are skimming the bottom that same table.

Hopefully implementing these tips will help you in your rowing WODs.

Sugar stats

Sugar stats

Sugar is Dangerous

Sugar is by and large one of the most damaging things in our modern day diet. It’s the root of many diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure, fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome…the list goes on and on.

Next time you’re opening a box of pre packaged foods take a glance at the ingredients and read them closely. If I were a gambling man, I’d put my money on the fact that you will find some type of added sugar. Sugar is added to almost all prepackaged foods because it adds flavor most people love and acts as a preservative to extend it’s shelf life. It’s easy to overlook much of it, even foods marketed as “health foods” have added sugars. Yogurts, granola, cereals, nut butters, beef jerky… The list goes on and on.

But Why Do We Crave Sugar?

The short answer is because we eat sugar. It’s a vicious cycle.

1. We eat sugar. We like the taste and it does in fact have addictive properties.

2. It signals a release of dopamine into the brain making us feel good.

3. Massive amounts of insulin is secreted into the blood causing our blood sugar to drop dramatically.

4. This spike in insulin causes immediate fat storage. Body craves more of the dopamine.

5. Low blood sugar causes the appetite to grow and the cravings to kick back in and we’re back to the start.

So now what?

If you’re unsure how to read between the tricky wording of the ingredient lists and decipher the good from bad, stick to foods in the natural state. If you plan on eating it in the form in which it grew naturally, it’s likely a safe choice. If it comes in a box and/or has a list of ingredients that sound like you wouldn’t find anywhere but a chemistry experiment stay away.

Zac Ansaldo

NASM, Certified Personal Trainer

Enter the Lurong Living Championship Challenge Today!

Championship ChallengeStarting Monday, 9/12 it’s time to dial in your nutrition game and start seeing some serious results.

Whether your goals are weight loss or to improve your fitness performance, joining the Championship Challenge will help you get there!

So what is the Championship Challenge?

It’s a 7 week nutrition and fitness challenge.

Why should I do it?

Because you want to feel good, look good, and perform your best!

How does it work?

First you sign up >>HERE<<

It’s $45 to participate, but here’s what you get:

  • Full 7 Week Meal Plan – no guess work
  • 3 Different Levels of Diet – only as strict as you want it to be
  • Database of 120+ Recipes – you’ll always be able to find healthy, tasty recipes
  • Accountability – you have your gym mates and you’ll be recording your successes in the app daily!
  • Optional, basically free supplement

Once you sign up, you’ll get weighed, measured, and you’ll set goals.

Then for 7 weeks, you and most of the gym will be making some awesome lifestyle changes!

Don’t be left out, sign up NOW >>HERE<<<

We will weigh and measure on Sunday during Open Gym.  You can do this on your own, but to be eligible for prizes, you’ll need to be measured by a trainer.  I will be sending out a Sign Up Genie email to schedule your time.

Let’s do this, Solution 1!!

Pull up strength
Pull up strength

You know THIS GUY does pull-ups!

Pull-ups are a tremendously valuable exercise and the best way to achieve them is to follow a good pull-up progression program.  From a functional standpoint, it is your ability to pull yourself up from hanging position.  Maybe it’s just to see something over a wall, or maybe it’s something more life threatening, like pulling yourself up from a cliff!

In your CrossFit workouts, you’ll see pull-ups quite often and if you just keep grabbing that same ol’ band, your improvement will be very, very slow.

The Pull-Up for Strength

The strict pull-up is a STRENGTH movement for most people beginning exercise and CrossFit, and as such you should go through various progressions to achieve that strength.  In addition to being able to master your body weight, the ability to do strict pull ups is also the gateway to many other CrossFit movements:  kipping pull ups, butterfly pull ups, and muscle ups.

In fact, you shouldn’t even try to do kipping pull ups if you haven’t achieved your first strict pull up.   Perform these progressions 2 or 3 times a week either before your workouts or after (obviously, you’ll be much fresher if you do them before).  Chris Stroud has an awesome 3x/week pull up progression that you can find HERE.

Today, I’ll introduce you to one of my FAVORITE pull-up progressions: Struggle Up Struggle Downs.

If you have been laboring for too long in “band land”, it’s time for you to add Struggle Up Struggle Downs to your routine.

Avocado Oil Recipe
I am sharing this recipe, mostly because I wanted to introduce you to an amazing mayo that you can add to your healthy eating plans!  If you like to add mayo to things, you NEED to switch to Avocado Oil Mayo.  I know, it’s more expensive, but it is so much healthier for you and provides a very nutritious fat source.

Ditch the commercial junk mayo filled with unhealthy soybean oil, and give AVOCADO OIL MAYO a try.  

Here’s a quick recipe for a super healthy lunch or snack:

1. Slice a red or orange pepper in half and remove the insides and stem.
2. Finely chop the chicken and place in a bowl.
3. Add a tablespoon of AVOCADO OIL MAYO, plus any seasonings ( I like to add a bit of sriracha)
4. Mix the chicken and mayo well and scoop into pepper halves.
 Avocado Oil Recipe
The end result is:

 

390 calories
10 grams of carbs
24 grams of fat
28 grams of protein.

 

I ate a big baby kale/spinach salad and a small peach to round out the lunch.  Give this recipe a shot and tell me what you think!!
Healthy Chicken and Pepper

The Finished Product!

Movements standards aren’t just for the CrossFit Open or Games! To get the most out of your training with us, you should be performing EVERY movement to the standard if you are able.

You don’t get better by going faster… you get better by doing the movements better. Form and technique first, THEN intensity. That’s when the magic happens.

Here’s the first course in Solution 1 CrossFit’s new CrossFit University series.

Are you doing YOUR Toes To Bars correctly?

Check out the standards below to make sure!

CU - Toes To Bar Good Reps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CU - Toes To Bar No Reps

 

The Snatch.

It’s a beautiful movement when executed correctly, but man is it tough to learn and get good at.  Why is that?

Well, for starters it takes a TON of mobility that, especially new CrossFitters, just don’t have.  You need to have good mobility in the shoulders, thoracic spine, hips, & ankles.  If you lack mobility in just one of these areas, you will get taken out of position.

Next, it is very complex.  In order to execute the lift correctly, the bar needs to land at the top right over your center of gravity.  But there are a lot of pieces to the snatch: from the hook grip, to the 3rd pull (getting under the bar) that can go wrong.  If your timing is off just a little bit, the chain reaction will cause the barbell to end up either too far in front or too far behind you, resulting in a missed attempt.

So how can you get better?  Check out this video I made with my friends at the F.I.T. Muscle and Joint clinic for some great progressions and drills to start improving your snatch today!

Solution 1 CrossFit Coach, J.R. Kuchta demonstrates both the Wrap Around and “J” Hook rope climbing techniques.

The ring dip. Whether you are kipping or doing them strict, you need to make sure you are locking out at the top position. In coaching, I see A LOT of lazy ring dips, especially in WODs when athletes are chasing times. Sometimes it even looks like a ring ab crunch with the arms barely moving. Your strength and fitness will NOT improve performing ring dips in this manner.

Here’s a quick tutorial and picture for what the ring dip should look like.

Ring Dip Diagram

Ring Dips: The Good & The Bad

In the ring dip you want to start in the top, locked out position. Lower yourself and sink your chest and head forward and finish with the bicep at the ring AND your elbow ABOVE your shoulder.  While performing the ring dip it’s important to keep your arms tight and as close to your body as possible.

Mobility is often a limiting factor here, so if you don’t have the mobility right now, don’t push it. You’ll want to open up your tight shoulders before getting in that deep ring dip position, or you may get some shoulder impingement happening.

As mobility wizard, Kelly Starrett says “Take care of your business”.

Finally, you’ll push your arms back to full extension to complete the ring dip. If you struggle with the lockout, sometimes it helps to slightly externally rotate at the top. This would mean opening up a little to where your palms start facing slightly forward. But just slightly. Do NOT overdo the rotation as it can put you in a compromised position.

So to recap:

1. Start in locked out position
2. Descend to where you biceps touch the rings AND your shoulders are below your elbows
3. Fully extend your arms to locked out position again.

It’s just that easy, right?

The ring dip is a tough movement that you may need to work through progressions to accomplish.  Here is a great progression video by Chris Spealler:

Rise Above Shirts

Rise Above T Shirt Design

You can choose from Aqua, Gray, or Black: Check out the color options here:

Rise Above Tanks

Rise Above Tank Top Design

You can choose from Pink, Gray, or Black.  Check out the colors HERE.

Rise Above Hoodie Design

Rise Above Hoodie Design

Do you train with us here at Solution 1 CrossFit?  Well, then guess what?

YOU.

            ARE.

                         A CROSSFITTER.header-image-open

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been training with us for 3 years and can Clean & Jerk 300 lbs, or if you just started last week and still have lash marks on your arm from trying to get your first double under:

You are a CrossFitter.

You are part of this awesome community that shows up everyday to push, pull, grunt, and groan your way to a better version of yourself. A stronger, fitter, more confident, and empowered version of yourself. If this wasn’t your goal, then you’d probably be going to Planet Fitness and walking on the treadmill listening to Katy Perry. But that’s not who YOU are.

You are a CrossFitter.

So, here’s the deal. Starting next Thursday, February 26th, the first workout of the CrossFit Open is announced. This will put in motion a furious 5 weeks of awesomeness. People will be pushing their limits, setting PR’s, and achieving things they didn’t think possible. It happens every year.

Last year was simply amazing, as Bianca came into one of her workouts never having accomplished a single muscle up. And it wasn’t for lack of trying! What happened? Well she got a muscle up. Then another, and another. When the (chalk) dust cleared and the WOD was completed, she ended up completing 21 of them!

And this year The Open is better than ever.
For the first time there will be a SCALED option for every workout. Past excuses such as “I can’t even do double unders” or “I never do the full Rx weight on my thrusters” are no longer valid. Scaled WODs make the Open much more accessible.

It is truly electric on Saturdays during the CrossFit Open, as people dig deeper and really see what they are capable of. And I don’t want you to get left out. I want YOU on Team S1CF!!

17 of you have already accepted the challenge and signed up. If you are not one of those 17, I encourage you to click the link below right this second and sign yourself up for the Open.

Sign Up For The Open HERE

See what you are capable of.

Prove your Fitness.

In a quest to help you become a more fit and awesome version of yourself, I am constantly looking for programs and protocols to implement here at Solution 1.  Recently I came across a movement specialist named Ido Portal and I really like his methods and philosophy (I know Sara, you told me about him months ago).

After reading about his recent 30 Day Hanging Challenge I have decided that this is something that we HAVE TO DO.  The carry over to improve your fitness and CrossFit is HUGE.  Hanging will really help to strengthen and open up your shoulders, which will translate into more pull-ups, stronger presses, and better shoulder position on presses.  In addition, it will help out your grip strength tremendously.

So what is the 30 Day Hanging Challenge?

Your goal for the next 30 days will be to accumulate 7 minutes of hanging EVERY DAY.  That’s right, 7 minutes, but you don’t want to do it all at one time.  Ideally, this time would be spread out throughout the day for the greatest adaptation.  We will program these into your everyday workouts, whether that’s with your trainer or in the WOD, but you’ll want to find a place to do them at home (kid’s playground?), or at work (doorway pull-up bar?), too.  You may have to get creative, but try to find somewhere to accomplish the work so that you can reap the benefit.

There are many different types of hangs, but we will start with the basics: The Passive Hang.  The passive hang has you hanging from a bar with 2 arms.  You want to have your grip shoulder width and allow your shoulders to open up and your body to relax.  Your elbows should be straight and you should wrap your thumbs if you can. Check out a quickly thrown together video:

**IMPORTANT NOTE** Please let us know immediately if you feel pain during your hanging sessions.  We don’t want to make a present issue worse.  This may mean that we need to make modifications for you during this challenge, but hopefully the hanging will help your body strengthen and eliminate the pain!

Okay, we have now had the 2 different programming tracks running for 6 weeks. I have received a lot of positive verbal feedback so far, but I would love it if you could take a moment and let me know your thoughts.

Also, I’d like to address recovery for Comp Track followers and frankly for Fit Track followers too, if you train 5 to 6 days a week.

The heavier weights and higher training volume can really start to wear on you, so I highly encourage you to listen to your body. If you start noticing more aches and pains and longer recovery time you should and NEED TO back it off.

The human body simply can not take all out, max effort training 365 days a year. Your body can and will break down unless you take a pro-active approach to your training and recovery. You can’t maximize your fitness if you are injured!

A good rule of thumb if you follow the Comp Track would be to stay on the programming for a 4 to 8 week time period and then take a “Recovery Week”. This time period is different for everyone based on age, training level, nutrition, sleep, stress, etc. Listen to your body! If you just asked yourself if you need a “Recovery Week” you probably do.

During this “Recovery Week” you should still come to class, but your approach will be completely different. You can still do the group warm up for general mobility, but during focus time I’d like you to alternate between light rowing or airdyne and mobility work specific to your needs. Not sure what to do? Ask a coach!

Then, I would advise you to perform the Fit Track WODs, but at 60-70% max effort and really concentrate on full range of motion and proper form. You’ll also want to back off the Rx weights by 30 – 50%. Your goal this week is recovery and regeneration which will NOT happen if you continue to go all out on your WODs.

Let me know if you have any questions and keep working hard!

31 Heroes 2014 Thrusters 31 heroes 2014Thanks again to all who came out and participated in our 3rd Annual 31 Heroes charity CrossFit WOD in Shawnee.  This was our biggest and best event to date and we raised close to $2000 for the various charities that The 31 Heroes Foundation supports.

I hope you all had a great time and I am so proud of the generous community that we have here at Solution 1 CrossFit.  A special thanks to Darrell Heller for smoking and preparing the amazing pulled pork sandwiches! They definitely lived up to the “world famous” billing that I gave them.

Also, a big thanks to the guys at F.I.T. Muscle and Joint clinic for coming out and taking care of our CrossFit athletes and to CrossFitter Emily Carpenter for taking a bunch of great pictures.  Now rest up, fuel up, and recover and if you need some extra attention, be sure to call up F.I.T. and get an appointment.

“LIVE as if you were to die tomorrow. LEARN as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi

This is a profound statement that can apply to every aspect of your life; your choices, your relationships, your faith, and definitely CrossFit.

Many just focus on the first statement as a proclamation about living life to the fullest (YOLO!), but it is really the second statement that will impact your life when taken to heart. Never stop learning.

There is a huge difference in results from those that just show up to workout versus those who show up to LEARN. And we want you to learn, because without learning you can never truly own your health and fitness.

So how do you learn from your CrossFit class?

Really pay attention to the coaches’ instruction and make the corrections necessary to do movements properly. Pay attention to and learn from your strengths and weaknesses. Learn how your body moves and what you can do to make it move better. Learn about your engine so you know when to crank up the intensity and when to hang back.

Also, you should create a mental game plan for each workout. Look at the WOD on the whiteboard and think about the number of rounds, the number of reps, and the weight you are using. Plan ahead for how you will break up the reps or when you’ll push for unbroken sets.

I think far too many people just grab the equipment, watch the clock start, and then go barreling into the workout full bore. Inevitably, I see them hit a wall, then huff and puff through reps haphazardly until they have finished. Can you get in better shape that way? Sure, but only because the body is an amazing machine. Could you be in far better shape if you stopped to think and learn. You bet.

Commit to learning about your fitness. Have a PLAN. If you have questions, ask the coaches. We want you to be as fit as possible!

After the WOD you should review how you actually performed based on your expectations. This is where the learning occurs. You will have either outperformed, or under-performed your expectations, and both are valuable lessons. You now have reliable data on how to attack a similar WOD in the future. This is especially valuable for the benchmark WODs, which you are sure to repeat.

Finally, do not internalize your performance. Whether you performed well or poorly, is not a reflection of you as a human being. Performances hinge on so many factors, from sleep, to nutrition, to stress, to how you approached the WOD. As long as you learned something and can apply it to future workouts, the WOD was successful and your fitness will improve.

31 Heroes CrossFit WOD

31 Heroes CrossFit WOD

Mark your calendars for 11 am on August 9th and get signed up for the 3rd annual 31 Heroes WOD at Solution 1 CrossFit!

Sign up HERE.

31 Heroes is a memorial WOD to honor and support those who died on August 6, 2011 in a Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

The WOD is a tough one, but like all WODs it can be scaled to ANY fitness level, so don’t let the difficulty persuade you from joining us.  It has been a great time each year and you’ll be working with a partner who will share in your effort!  The best part is that this year we will have a little post workout celebration.  Darrell Heller will be smoking up some of his famous sandwiches and you are welcome to bring some of your favorite beer or cocktails to sit back and relax after a great effort.

 

31 Heroes WOD

AMRAP 31 minutes
8 Thrusters
6 Rope Climbs
11 Box Jumps
This is a Partner WOD – Partner #1 will perform the work listed above. Partner #2 will run 400m with a sandbag (45/25). Once Partner #2 returns from the run, Partner #1 will grab the sandbag and begin their 400m, while Partner #2 continues work wherever #1 left off.

Be sure to invite friends and family!  They are welcome to participate or just come watch and hang out.

Can’t wait to see you there!

CrossFit should be fun!  If you are going to hit the weights day in and day out and endure the tough workouts and muscle soreness, you might as well enjoy it, right?  And it is ALWAYS worth it.   Well, after performing a workout with medicine ball toes to bars, the guys wanted to take it to the next level.  Hence, the Hanging Partner Medicine Ball Toss was born.  Check it out.

Our resident CrossFit production team, Kendall and Cameron Potter show you how to do handstand pushups!  Hey, if they can do it, you can do it!

Great job girls.

No GrainsOkay, we are going to be adding a LOT of additional abdominal work this month!  Six pack abs, here I come, right?  Well, sadly just doing a bunch of sit-ups, crunches, and toes to bars aren’t going to do the trick.  When it comes to seeing your abdominal muscles, it requires you to shed the layer of body fat that sits between your abs and the rest of the world.

Personally,  I am much more interested in the fact that stronger abs mean better squats and deadlifts and less risk of back injury, but I understand that many people just want to have a slimmer more defined  midsection when they throw on a swimsuit.   To do this, we need to feed your machine properly and provide additional activity (workouts) to create a need for your body to chew up its excess body fat stores and let your abs shine through!  Stick with us for the next 4 weeks and just do what we tell you to do and you will be on your way to a lean and mean physique.

There are hundreds of different ways to lose weight, but I am going to advise you in such a manner so that you can lose body fat at a good rate while minimizing loss of muscle mass.  I will give you a few principles to apply each week and by the end of the month you will have stair stepped your way into a health optimizing and fat burning eating plan.  Stick with it long term and you’ll never want to go back because you will be looking, feeling, and performing better than ever.

Now, here are week one’s principles to apply!

Principle 1:  You need to cut your carbohydrate intake and INCREASE carb quality.

Carbohydrates are the main reason we put on and keep on body fat.  The wrong type and amount of carbohydrates increase our blood sugar levels and starts a cascade of bodily functions that all result in you storing more body fat.   Especially those Fritos eaten at 9 pm (Fritos or tortilla chips are my weakness).

For all of April, I challenge you to only consume ½ your bodyweight in grams of carbohydrates per day.  For example, I weigh 160 lbs so this would allot me 80 grams of carbohydrates a day.  In addition, I want you to try to eliminate grains & beans as much as you can.  They have anti-nutrition compounds that are counter-productive to your goals.  Replace them with vegetables, sweet potatoes, fruit or WHITE rice (in moderation, ½ cup is 26 grams of carbs).  Vegetables will not count towards your carb total, so eat up on these, but limit fruits and starchy sources of carbs (sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white rice).

Fat Loss Tip: Keep sliced cucumber, carrots, and celery on hand for those evening munchies.  Vegetables don’t count towards your carb total, so eat up!

If you eat out regularly, you really need to pay attention because carbs and sugar are in everything.  Ditch the buns and sandwiches and opt for mixed vegetables instead of fries.  It is tough, but if you want results you’ve got to make some sacrifices.  If you are eating fruit, choose berries first as they are the lowest in sugar.  Also, only consume 2 servings of fruit each day if fat loss is your goal.

Performance tip:  Try to get ½ of your daily carbohydrates around your workouts so that you are properly fueled and can build muscle and fully recover.

For a more advanced carb-cutting and fat burning approach you can also try carb cycling.  You’ll take your daily allotment of carbohydrates and cut it in half again.  On one day consume ½ of your regular allotment of carbs and on the other day consume 1 ½ your regular allotment of carbs.  Preferably the larger carb day would be on intense workout days where you are expending more energy.  So for a 160 lb individual such as myself, that would mean that on day 1 I would eat 40 grams of carbohydrates and on day 2 I would eat up to 120 grams of carbohydrates.  This allows for greater fat burning on your lower carb days and a chance to replenish your muscle and liver glycogen stores on the higher carb days so that your workouts and muscle mass don’t suffer.  This also allows you to avoid feeling deprived and keeps you psychologically fresh from day to day.

Principle 2:  Increase your average daily caloric expenditure.  This means workout and move more!  You NEED to be working out 5 days a week.  PERIOD.   If you aren’t doing this, you will never see great results unless your nutrition is perfect, because there is only so much restriction you can make on the food you eat.  Regular bursts of intense exercise keeps you burning calories, keeps your metabolism revving at a high level , and optimizes the key hormones you need for maximum health and fat burning.

If you want to bump up your training here at Solution 1, let me know, but there is plenty you can do at home, too.  Shoot me an email if you want a list of home/travel workouts that utilize very little equipment. 

Another key component to burning more body fat is to get out of that ding-dang chair!  Sitting is the new smoking and it wreaks havoc not only on your posture and mobility, but on your metabolism, as well.  If you can swap your regular desk for a standing desk it can really add up!  You can burn an additional 200 to 300 calories A DAY by standing for most of your work day.  This simple change will burn 2 lbs off your frame every month.  Two pounds doesn’t seem like much, but can add up to 25 pounds of fat lost in a year!   Plus, a huge bonus is that you will be strengthening your legs, core, and eliminating back pain all at the same time.

If you don’t want to spring for a new standing desk, you can always just turn a large Rubbermaid container upside down and place your computer monitor and keyboard on it.  I often throw one of the plyo-boxes on my desk to make a standing desk while I am in my office.

That’s enough information for week one, so get to it.  And remember failing to plan is planning to fail.  You need to be able to control your food choices and that means preparing your meals ahead of time!

Jos Chalk ClapIt’s not really a convenient time for me right now to compete in anything. I teach 4-6 hours of classes per day, 7 days a week, plus my own workouts.  My kids are 4 and 5 years old, and they’re BOYS…not much more explanation is needed on that, I don’t think. My husband recently took a new position that involves a lot of travel and I’m just going to say it…I’m tired. I have a photo shoot in a few weeks that requires me to have my bodyfat at a certain percentage and so my food is very controlled and calculated. My work day often starts at 4 am and ends at 8 pm. Don’t get me wrong, what I do is my passion and it is the greatest gift. But I’m tired, ok?

So when the Open rolled around this year, I was ready to judge athletes and cheer my friends and clients on, but I wasn’t sure I could find the energy or time to put myself into the competition. Remember, I’m tired and all that?

My boss, coach, and friend JR told me when I mentioned the above bullet points to him, “That sounds like an excuse to me.” Grrr.  He said it with a nice look on his face and everything, but I know what he was getting at. Plus, I’m a coach, I’m supposed to be an example, right?  Right!  So, a few keystrokes later, I was signed up. (You’re welcome, CF HQ for the $20)

I rolled up to 14.1 nervous and excited, I mean double unders are kind of my jam. Plus, 65 lb snatches? No problem.  8 minutes later, I collapsed into a puddle of sweat and triumph. I did it. Maybe this isn’t going to be so bad after all.

Along with everyone else, I anxiously awaited the 14.2 announcement…Overhead squats, ok…my yoga background will serve me well in the hip flexibility here, kids! But wait, chest to bar…I have always struggled with pull-ups and have only recently been able to string a few kippers together. Chest to bar is insane to think about at this point. I probably got no-repped for as many as I accomplished (bless your heart, Scott Gillespie!), but I did it. I had no scaling options, I had no easy way out. I did it. I earned those 36 reps and I’m proud of them.

The next workout involved heavy deadlifts and I got to the point to where I just couldn’t pick up the bar. Too heavy for my tired back and a clear magnifying glass on what I need to work on. Watching my clients struggle for every rep and keep their training in the forefront of their minds as I judged this workout was so inspiring. These athletes are smart, they are tough, and they are strong.

14.4 happened today. My hands ripped, my lungs burned, I could barely clean that 95 lbs. I haven’t hurt that much in a long time. I stopped for a second during my evil, wicked wallballs to savor the moment…my husband and my friends were screaming for me to keep pushing, my little boys were in the background seeing their mommy become better, my clients were watching me do what I tell them to do every single day. And it made sense.

I don’t do CrossFit because it is the coolest, trendiest workout on the scene right now. I don’t coach CrossFit because it’s cool and fun (it is though!). I do it because I believe in it. I love what it brings out in people. Strength, courage, and honest to goodness FIGHT. I told my dear friend Brian, as he was debating whether to even attempt 14.4 because he ‘isn’t great at toes to bar’, “aren’t you so glad that you have something in your life that makes you feel nervous, anxious, and scared?” What I meant by that is this: If you stay comfortable, nothing changes. You will never get better. So I challenge you to get uncomfortable. Ditch the band on those pull-ups, add a few lbs to your bar during the WOD, don’t accept singles when you are able to get a few double unders. That’s when change happens. Demand the very best from yourself in CrossFit, and in life.

Brian sailed through his toes to bar and almost completed his wallballs in 14.4. He would have never known he could do that if he hadn’t been willing to get uncomfortable. The eruption of cheers and emotion as he fought for his reps was something to experience. He conquered it.

Please don’t get comfortable. If it’s easy, it’s probably not worth it. The truth is this…as your coaches, we care so much about your bodies and your fitness. Wellness is our passion. But more than that, we care about your spirit, what is cultivated inside of you by fighting through and never giving up. In life, that is what counts. Be strong, never quit, and keep fighting.

14.5 scares me, and I don’t even know what it is yet. But I promise you this…I will show up and I will fight. I will be better afterwards than I was before. My community of athletes will cheer for me and support me and I will walk away with my head held high. I will do the same for them.  If you want to feel that way, you should hang out with us at Solution 1 CrossFit. It’s not about being better than anyone else, it’s about being better than you were yesterday.