Fitness

What I've learned from CrossFit

crossfit-fierce-play-davidThe other day I went to coffee with a friend/client David Belt. For those of you who know David, he is a friendly, humorous, high energy, positive person. He is exactly the type of person I like to surround myself with. While we were having coffee he wanted to share an email he sent to his family about his experience with CrossFit. What he wrote meant a lot to me as a coach and reminded me why I enjoy putting in the work to help others with their health and fitness every day.

I asked him if I could share this because I believe what he wrote is powerful and some of you can relate.

Here is the email he sent:

"I thought I’d take a couple of minutes to share what I’ve been learning and experiencing at my Crossfit gym.

I know, I know… Crossfit. A bunch of tools. That’s what I thought about Crossfitters before I joined last June. Since then, however, I’ve been surprised by how diverse, intentional and supportive the group of people I work hard with are.

This past weekend, I experienced something I won’t forget.

To give you context, I first need to explain that I’m not the strongest at my push press (a shoulder/overhead exercise). I get winded quickly, especially if it’s heavy weight. But I wanted to to push myself this particular day, so I put on more weight than usual. The workout of the day was:

  • 20 pullups
  • 20 burpees to box jumps
  • 20 kettle bell swings
  • 20 power cleans
  • 20 push press

I did the cleans and push press at 135 lbs. The cleans were tough, but I finished them. When I got to the Push Press, I did 1 rep and knew I needed to take off weight. I started to take off weight when Jeff (my coach) came over and said I could do it. He said this is an area I need to get better in.

Crap!

To do a push press, you essentially have to do a clean! Which I had just done 20 of! I was winded. By the time I got to 5 reps, it was only me and another friend, Peter, left. The whole class was done and was cheering us on. The next class was there, too, about to start their workout in 5 min. Lots of people. Looking at us. Uncomfortable, to say the least. Peter soon finished It was just me. I had another 10-12 reps to go. DUMB!

It was hard. Really hard. I was partly embarrassed, but it was difficult to be ashamed when everyone was screaming your name and yelling, “You can do it!"

The last 6 or 7 reps, I began dropping them before I could extend my arms: no rep! This happened several times. People were quick to tell me to get back up and try again. The class time had already finished but people chose not to leave. They all decided to stay and cheer me on.

1 more rep to go. I dropped it. So heavy. So tired. Out of breath. I threw up in my mouth and swallowed it. I went to the bar again, cleaned it to my shoulders, received a shot of adrenaline as people were yelling my name. “C’mon, David!”

Click here to watch happened next :)

I pushed it above my head and extended my arms. Done! 20 reps! 135 lbs! I went to my knees. People cheered. Everyone came over and gave me high fives, patting my shoulder, saying what a great job I did. It was a profound feeling. Wow.

There are so many things to observe and take away:

  • Jeff pushing me to do what I thought I couldn’t.
  • One’s body can do more than you think it can.
  • Community. Love. Support.
  • The power of hearing your name.
  • Collective potential.
  • Being an encourager is a choice.
  • Hard work pays off.
  • Nike. JUST DO IT!

This was an important milestone in my personal fitness, as well as my understanding of hard work and encouragement from others.

I also saw this, however, as something that happens so beautifully in the church. As a follower of Jesus, community is important to me in the strengthening of my love and faith in God. My experience at Crossfit reminded me of a moment I had in a recovery class I was involved in a couple of years ago. I remember hearing powerful words of encouragement from my co-recoverers. Their love and encouragement got me back under the bar and helped me continue the fight against addiction.

As the old African proverb says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

And as the author of the book of Hebrews in the Bible writes: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us..."

When my wife, Lauren, and I experienced a hurtful family loss earlier this year, going to Crossfit was an important time for me. It was a place to process emotion. It was a time of prayer and wrestling with God. I fixed my eyes on Jesus. I persevered. I ran faster. I lifted heavier. I pushed harder. I didn’t give up… a micro-causm of what was actually being painted in the larger portrait of life. Finishing a ton of burpees and pull-ups helped me finish a tough week of hurt and emotion.

Most of the people I work hard with aren’t strangers anymore. They’re friends. I know their names, their daughter’s names, what they do for a living, why they’re wanting to get fit, and what drives them. It’s pretty amazing.

Crossfit. A place to work out? Sure. But it’s more than that. It’s a place to work out how to better live out a healthier and stronger life with others." -David Belt

Thank you, David for sharing that with me!

Life After Bootcamp

Enrollment Day. The 6-week journey to a happier, fitter, healthier you. Graduation Day.

It’s our Proven Results System that’s guaranteed [yes, actually guaranteed] to finally deliver you the results you’ve been searching for.

But did you know that our 6-Week FITCAMP is actually just the start of the healthiest chapter of your life?

The tools we teach at every single session of FITCAMP are all designed for a reason. As Coaches we strive to educate your mind and body, because we’ve found that this approach lays the most solid foundation for ongoing success.

After you’ve graduated from FITCAMP, you’ll see that from our lifestyle coaching tips, you’re balancing your work/life schedule with ease.

After you’ve graduated from FITCAMP, it’s a common sight to see your kids have better exercise habits because they see YOU having better exercise habits!

Other common side effects of FITCAMP also include having more energy at work, being in a more optimistic mind frame, and actually looking forward to working out!

But with all of these positive areas now helping you live the life you want, the biggest question is...why would you ever go back?

That’s why we have our CrossFit - it’s designed to pick up exactly where FITCAMP left off, and give you MORE of what you LOVED in those amazing 6 weeks.

I mean, just imagine...if we had that much fun in 6 weeks...imagine the stories we’ll have in 6 months!

Friendship

Think back to your first day of Junior High. Chances are if your school was anything like mine, you had some of your old friends from elementary school there, but also a whole bunch of new faces from other schools too.

You might also remember a time where you didn’t have any of your close friends in your new class! Oh, the discomfort. Were you going to sit there quietly…all year long? Sure, that’s the thought at the time - but you were also 12! It made sense.

And how does it turn out? That some strangers from those years end up becoming your best friends for an entire life of fun and happiness.

It’s actually kinda like FITCAMP!

Each FITCAMP we run has a little bit of everything, and awesome personalities are definitely one of them.

There are the people trying to get back in shape...and somehow they end up becoming really good friends with the people who are getting in shape for the first time. Yeah, they have different backgrounds, but because we get to share in our struggles together, we are also able to share in our successes, too!

There’s the workout buddy who thinks they’re there just because their friend dragged them along...and they turn out to be the most outgoing person in the Bootcamp!

We’ve had people who are attending because the Doc has said you ‘Have To’ do this for your health - they end up being the inspiration for so many on days when it’s tough to even think about working out. You know if they can do it, then you can try too!

The friendships made at FITCAMP lasts, too.

You get to meet your new friends in person at our Enrollment Day on July 11th - it’s just $49 to reserve your spot, and meet all the awesome new people who will help hold you accountable to the results you’ve always wanted.

Reserve Your Spot Now!

The #1 Ingredient to Success

You Need To Be Optimistic -

Have you ever heard someone say, “you are what you think about most of the time?” Did you ever wonder what the heck they were talking about?  It’s kind of an archaic phrase, “you are what you think about most of the time.”

Or maybe you’ve heard people say, “You get what you think about most of the time;” or “In order to get what you want, think of the result you want and not the result you don’t want.”

All of these phrases are more complicated ways of saying, “you have the resources to purchase the ticket to your own success.”  All you have to do is think right and be honest with yourself about what you want.

Ask yourself honestly, “Am I an optimistic person most of the time?”  Are you?  When faced with an obstacle do I focus on the success of overcoming the obstacle or all the hard steps that it’ll take in order to achieve success?

And what if I put in all that work and I fail? What a waste.  Perhaps I’d better take on a more realistic challenge...one that I know I can accomplish.

I’m here to tell you that there is a fine line between success and failure in all things that we do and the way we think - whether we have an optimistic point of view or pessimistic point of view is often the determining factor.

So really, an optimistic attitude is really all about focus.  We get what we think about most of the time and when we think about positive things in this world, and definite goals that we want to accomplish and we focus on their successful achievement,  we generally feel better about ourselves and our other earthly inhabitants and we’re able to do way more than we ever thought possible.

Ever look at another guy at work and wonder why he gets all the breaks and promotions?  Ever wonder why some people seem to continuously and consistently succeed and thrive at a level way over their skill-sets? Ever wonder how they do it?

Simple, they never even consider the thought that they can’t do it.  When faced with anything in life, it is a foregone conclusion that things will go their way and they will receive favor.  whether it’s a promotion at work, a kipping pull-up, or even a front row parking place at Byerly’s, to an optimist, there is no reason why things shouldn’t go their way.

Optimism is the #1 ingredient to success!!!

Pessimism is a lot like worry and fear from our last blog post.  It is something you have 100% control over. Being pessimistic is a negative state of mind or mindset and only you-know-who can change your mindset.  YOU!  and it’s way easier than you think.

Every day, you have the opportunity to respond to events and activities around you in a positive way or a negative way.  You can call the guy who cuts you off in traffic an expletive, or you can consider that he didn’t mean to do it and certainly didn’t cut you off to make your day worse.  I’d assume that his day is bad enough if he drives that way anyway.

Ever woken up in a bad mood?  Aren’t you fun to be around - grunting answers to questions, not smiling, being short with your family and friends.  Isn’t that fun!  Of course not!  Why would you want to treat your friends like enemies and stay cranky all day?  You don’t have to.

No matter what you’re faced with, focusing on the negative will keep you down, keep you sad, upset, frustrated, or angry longer while accomplishing less.  You cannot make positive gains while harboring negative emotions and feelings.

Instead, focus on how things can go right and you will achieve so much more that you ever believed possible.

Change your focus. There is a great passage I’ve read that says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about these things.”

Successful people don’t let the possibility of a negative outcome get in their way. They do not focus on the possibility of failure or how they’ll be perceived if they don’t immediately achieve success.  They learn and grow from adversity by focusing on the joy found in the outcome whether it is success or failure.

Failure is a lesson!

Almost nothing of any great worth was achieved with full success on the first attempt. Failure is part of the process. I hate to use the word failure because it doesn’t adequately capture the entire scene. Failure gives us direction, tells us where to turn and where to turn back on our quest toward growth, knowledge, success.

I remember being taught by a really great coach that you only fail when you cease to make attempts.  In other words, you only fail when you quit.  Find the “wins” in your losses and build on those.  You will achieve great things.

If you were always successful you wouldn’t learn much.  You’d likely be rich, but you’d have a boring story:)!

Believe In Yourself!!!

Believing in yourself and believing in the power of and processes behind positive thinking can be a huge challenge.  Sometimes we are faced with some pretty heart-breaking news. Sometimes our hearts break, our will is challenged, our strength is tapped.  And that’s the way life goes.

Our success and our growth as people and as athletes lie not in our ability to avoid the negative that the world has to offer, but our ability to recover, to bounce back and to learn from even the most difficult situations.

This is pretty deep stuff for a CrossFit blog, but it is the stuff of life and may shed some light on how successful people really think.  Maybe you already think this way and, if so, be sure to share your success strategy with somebody you know who always seems grumpy or down. Now that would be a positive result.

When you are in the gym, don’t worry that you can’t yet do unbroken push-ups, or that you haven’t been able to master the clean and jerk.  It’s a matter of time.  If you focus on the fact that you can’t do it, well then you can’t do it.  If you focus rather on the fact that you can’t do it yet, you leave the door open for success.  You know that the failures now lead to successes later.

“He Who Says He Can And He Who Says He Can’t Are Both Usually Right”  -Confucius

So focus on what you want and not on what you don’t want.  Your subconscious is an amazing thing and if you tell it“jeez I hope I don’t fail!” all it hears is “FAIL.”  Instead, tell yourself how great it will be when you succeed and your subconscious will focus on success.  Perhaps that’s a subject for a future blog.

For now, remember this...the and doesn’t know that he can’t move the rubbertree plant because nobody told him he couldn’t.  Tell yourself you can, give yourself a break and focus on the positive.

Let us know some great obstacles you’ve faced that you’ve been able to overcome by learning from mistakes, or by developing skills and techniques that aided in your success.

Fear Not

CAN YOU FEAR NOT?

Fear is the #1 limiter in almost every endeavor in life.Why are people afraid?

mj-quoteWhy are people afraid?

That’s a great question and like all great questions, It’s a very hard one to answer.

Day in and day out I have new clients coming in worried that they will do something wrong, or that they won’t be able to perform a workout, or they’re worried that they could get hurt.

Fear is a very real and important tool in our self-preservation. It warns us of danger and helps keep us safe. Simply telling someone who is afraid to “fear not” is like throwing a thimble of water on a raging fire.  No effect.  I mean, really, how do you simply stop fearing?  Let’s try it...Think of something you’re afraid of. Now...Do not fear!  Did it work?  Didn’t think so...

That’s because almost all fear is generated by a “what if” scenario - the fear of something that may or may not ever transpire - the fear of the unknown and unusual.  Logically then, the proper way to overcome fear, is to take the mystery and the unknown out of the fear equation.

In CrossFit, there are several common fears like those listed above.  Almost all of these can be overcome through the thorough explanation and scaling of our workouts (applying different exercises to different skill levels and abilities) and through the support of our community.

Fear Paralyzes: What are the Consequences of Doing Nothing?

I can see your future!

I could safely bet you a million dollars today that you will be visiting the doctor or the emergency room at some point for some reason in your future.  If you do nothing about your fitness level, letting fear keep you from the gym, I’d bet another million that the reason for your visit will be a result of bad health brought on by lack of fitness. All because you did not, Fear Not!

Everyone, including me, has felt fear at some point.  It’s how we’re designed to survive in a dangerous world.

But the truth is FEAR is Based on a Lie.

Your thought,  “I’m afraid of spiders!”

I am afraid of spiders just so you know. Lol!

But when you really think about it, you’re afraid of spiders because you think they might bite you or because spiders are creepy looking. Do they really need to have eight, hairy legs?  Ugh!. But the fear is really the thought, “I am afraid of spiders.”  That’s not true.  You are afraid of the potential a spider represents - the possibility of a bite.

It may bite you or worse, crawl on you. but there is no guarantee that it will actually happen.  Your fear tells you to stay away to avoid danger.  The funny thing is though, 99% of the time, your interaction with a spider occurs without any contact and even the spiders you don’t see almost never bite you .

So the thought is the fear.  Many people are under the belief that their thoughts of the future will definitely happen which causes the fear, which leads to inaction.

That is simply not the reality. A huge percentage of the things we worry about and fear never come to fruition.  Fear is a lie and, like all lies, it’ll keep you down and keep you from what is great in this world.

Change The Way You Think.  Imagine Great Things!

Since we know that fear is a lie brought about by uncertainty about some future event, perhaps focusing on the present, in the here and now, can help you overcome some of your biggest fears.  Your ability to overcome fear is found in processes that keep you rooted in the present.

CrossFit is rife with processes designed to keep you safe, make you strong and generate results. These processes keep you rooted in the present with a positive eye on the future. Imagine great things for yourself and Fear Not Because when you let fear win, you are giving yourself permission to do nothing!

I challenge you to use your imagination for this purpose: Not imagining what could go wrong but what could go right, then focusing on the processes that’ll get you there!  I guarantee you’ll find a whole world of opportunities is out there. It’s hidden behind the lie that keeps you from Fearing Not!

Keep an eye out I will have another blog on this very mindset coming soon!

This is the single biggest thing you can do to be successful in any endeavor in life.

So don’t miss it!

Conquer your FEARS!