Monday, August 22, 2016

There's no place like home!

Vacation? Business Trip? Sometimes we just have to be out of town…and that means missing workouts. Or does it? The famous camaraderie of the CrossFit community will surely be available when you need to work out in a city far away.

I recently had to spend a week out of town while my kids participated in a workshop. I can do my work remotely, as long as I have an internet connection, so I was the obvious choice to be the chaperone. I did, however, worry about missing an entire week of WODs (ok, 3…I only work out 3 times a week).  So I decided to look up some of the CrossFit boxes in the city I was visiting. There happened to be one close to where we were staying, so I read up on the place on their website.

I emailed the contact person, letting him know I was a CrossFitter visiting town and that I’d like to drop in to keep my workout schedule. As expected he was accommodating.  I completed 2 workouts at that box during the week…I know! I know! My normal schedule is 3…but the kids, and the restaurant food, and…

Anyway, I’d like to share my thoughts on “Visitor Workouts”:

#1 There’s no place like home!  Walking in to the foreign box was not too intimidating. Crossfit is Crossfit, after all…there was the rig and the weights,  the medicine balls, the kettle bells and the big ass fans.  It looked pretty familiar. The particular box I went to, however, was in a strip center…so it wasn’t the open air facility I was used to. This place had actual air conditioning (really?).  So, like anything else, I was homesick for CrossFit Champions—home, sweat home!

#2 Where’s my Squad? Again, the CrossFit community is not going to let you down. The other athletes at the guest box were very nice and very supportive. But there is just nothing like your own workout squad! Though we introduced ourselves, we didn’t REALLY know names; though we all worked hard, we didn’t REALLY know each other’s abilities. So the feel of the group was different. Like kissing your cousin…it was a kiss, but would I want to do it again?

#3 THAT’S the WOD??!!  Like anything new, the format of information was different than I was used to. THIS coach only listed the workout for the day—not the core work or the weight work or the warm up or the cool down-JUST the WOD. It was a little confusing for me. When we finished the workout on the first day, I thought “that only took ½ an hour…” THEN he added a Tabata core workout and a lengthy stretching session. OH! That’s how they do it here! 

That is it…that is what I thought of working out at a guest box. Of course, you see that any and all ‘complaints’ are my own –the visitor. The gym, its athletes and coaches, they were all great and I do appreciate the opportunity to keep up with my schedule (kinda) while I was out of town.  So let that be the take away: if you are away from your home box, the famous CrossFit community will take care of you. Find a CrossFit gym wherever you are and keep up your hard work! 

Thank you #NuclearCrossfit of Lubbock Texas….I’m coming home, CrossFit Champions!

Monday, July 25, 2016

How Do You Know It is Working?

“Give me your card,” the lady said. At first I wasn’t sure she was talking to me. My card?  “You are obviously a trainer; I need your card!” she said.  Wow! She thought I looked fit enough to be a personal trainer… WOO-HOO!!  

Affirmation; we all want a little bit of credit for the things we do. Sometimes it only takes a nod of the head or an “atta boy!” to give us the oomph! we need to keep going. Other times we’d like to hear or feel a little more appreciation. Looking in the mirror gives me that small affirmation—I do look better naked than I used to. 

For the bigger effect, all I have to do is go to my box and workout. The coaches and the other athletes are all positive and supportive. If the WOD is rough, there’s someone there to help you finish it. I watched one of the long-time members at CFC jump in and perform Slamballs with another member who was having a tough time finishing the metcon for the day. She had already finished her workout, but her comrade had not – so she jumped in to help. THAT is affirmation. 

As you know, my (80 year old) mother is working out now. She’s been at CFC for a little over a month and has felt like she is improving. Today, a new member showed up, younger than Mom but with less CrossFit experience. As they worked through the strength exercise and the metcon, Mom realized that she was performing better than this much younger woman. Affirmation.

The professionals who competed in the CrossFit Games this weekend, like other pro athletes, received monetary affirmation for their efforts. The audiences at the events also offered the athletes some appreciation with their cheers and applause. The athletes themselves affirmed their brothers and sisters with hugs and back-slaps, with high fives and handshakes. 

And while I will likely never reach that level of fitness and performance ability, the very existence of those super-fit, dedicated athletes AFFIRMED my commitment to the CrossFit life. When there is a life habit that, with work and long-term commitment, leads to literally super-human ability, you should try to fall into it! 

Thinking about making my card…
Leslie Sellers, CrossFitter
Not a personal trainer, just looks like one!

I won’t give it to anyone…but I might just pull it out and get a little affirmation every once in a while!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Games

Awe inspiring…crazy strong…wow! 

The CrossFit Games are a sight to behold. Watching men and women perform amazing feats of fitness—swimming and trail running and weight lifting. Some of them are clearly hurting; others are sailing through with smiles on their faces. Workouts we’ve seen and done, performed at such a high level that we can only watch openmouthed and hearts pounding. 

Murph done in less than 37 minutes!! The 7km Trail Run—34 minutes!! These athletes are mind-blowing.

Don’t miss your chance to watch the world’s fittest people perform amazing feats of strength and endurance. Choose your favorite: individual men and women, teams or the teens or masters groups where, regardless of age, fitness is clearly on display. 

ESPN, YouTube, CrossFit Games site—watch! Be Amazed! Be Inspired!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

10 months, 10 years: CrossFit Growth

I was considering my own fitness growth yesterday…incremental, but real. I did 3 real pull-ups this week, and performed the Hollow Rock RX for 4 30-second rounds. These are improvements for a woman who couldn’t actually do 10 sit-ups some 10 months ago.  CrossFit has finally taught me that real growth comes with deliberate work over a period of time.  The CrossFit movement can say the same thing.

CrossFit Journal just published their own articles regarding The CrossFit Games. This year’s games will mark 10 years of competition. There has been so much change since that first “backyard barbeque” version of the Games in 2007. 

2007 was all about meeting face-to-face with the original athletes of this fitness movement that was born in the ethersphere. CrossFit gained its popularity by publishing the WODs online and letting everyone get in on the action. In ’07, the real CrossFit movement began when those athletes got together in “Dave Castro’s mom’s back yard” to perform a tougher workout and see who did it best. 

By 2010, the Games had gained enough competitors and fans to move to a commercial venue: the (then) Home Depot Center in Carson California. The athletes remember it giving the Games a real feel of legitimacy that had not been present before. That ‘backyard bbq’ had grown into a stadium sport. It was ’10 when the Games added the Masters category to the regular Men, Women and Team competitions. The popularity of the sport, including with athletes 40+ years old, was really beginning to show. 

2013 was a year that really illustrated the growth and improvement in CrossFit as a fitness philosophy. Harkening back to the first competition, the Games did the first repeat workout in its history for the final day of competition: they called it the 2007. That original workout had literally been drawn out of a hopper—proving Glassman’s theory that the fittest athletes should be able to surpass others on any randomly drawn challenge.

The workout consisted of a 1000m row, 5 rounds of 25 pullups and 7 push jerks.  Here’s where we see the growth of the sport and the growth of the athletes who practice it. The women’s champion in 2007, Jolie Gentry, finished the workout in 16:22. In 2013, Val Voboril did it in 9:48.4—more than 6 minutes difference—and she was the 3rd place winner overall. 

2016 marks a decade of finding the Fittest Athletes in the World. We’ve seen men and women compete and improve; we’ve seen the competition grow beyond the confines of even a professional stadium. We marveled at the prowess of athletes like 4-time Champion Rich Fronig Jr. and seen people from 14 to 60+ push themselves to the limits to prove their fitness and their dedication.  

Don’t miss it this year: July 19-24 streaming on YouTube and WatchESPN, with 10 hours of competition broadcast on the ESPN networks.  Read the articles too!  Decade of Dominance

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Why we do the HeroWOD

Justin Schmalstieg, Marine Gunnery Sergeant, was killed in action serving his fourth tour of duty in an active warzone, Afghanistan 2011. He was an EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) Technician whose very job was as dangerous and as important as any MOS in the Marine Corps. He was also a CrossFit athlete and on July 4th, the WOD at CrossFit Champions was in his honor: the Schmalls Hero WOD. 

As the mother of an active duty Marine, doing this WOD was not only a matter of respect, but pride. My son is currently deployed in the Pacific Theater of Operations and I know he is closer to the ‘action’ than he has ever been.  It is only right that I work my body as hard as possible, that I sweat and strain, that I finish something hard because my son, and many other mothers’ children, are out there doing the same for us, for the U.S.

CrossFit Champions was very full on Monday morning; it was heartening to see athletes pushing hard to honor a great American. The HeroWOD is a noble endeavor on the part of CrossFit. It may not be nationally recognized or even locally noticed, but every CrossFit athlete knows what it is and what it means.

It gives us just a little taste of what it means to make a personal sacrifice that may or may not ever be noticed or appreciated by others;  how it feels to work to the point of exhaustion without a single ‘atta boy’.  While our mere 1 hour “sacrifice” is nothing in comparison, we dedicate our sweat and tears to the members of the United States Military who willingly sacrifice for us every day. #HeroWOD