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The Middle of Fitness aka The Process

The Middle of Fitness aka The Process

You are sitting on the couch having never worked out, you are newer to the gym and trying to figure out this whole CrossFit thing or you have been working out for years, this is a repeatable process.  The journey from you to your goals, you have goals right, is rarely ever a smooth forward path.  You have to celebrate the process, the journey that’s making you a better you. (more…)

What’s Your Why?

Some Background

I’ve been lifting fairly heavy since my Junior year in high school as part of my full recovery from my first ACL surgery.  Some light math that’s roughly 22 years now.  Crazy to think.  I went from there to Division I athletics and lots of running and lifting.  A post college stop with a personal trainer and then I walked into my first CrossFit Gym almost 10 years ago.  

The Long Game

I get asked a lot about “how do you do this for a long time”.  My not so long answer is “you just do”.  It’s not glamorous and my routine changes in a lot of ways.  It’s Really easy to get wrapped up in those first 2-3 years when everything is a PR.  Weights on the barbell and weights off your belly, makes it exciting but the truth is this is about the long game.  This is about staying off medication and playing into your 70’s and 80’s.  So although I LOVE competition and the thrill of it, that’s not my why.  

What’s Your Why?

When you are wondering why you show up, figure out what your why is…or was.  Do you need to constantly be competing or is it fun to tweak your own nutrition and watch your body change.  What about playing around with Olympic Lifting classes or focusing on your gymnastics.  For me the thrill of CrossFit is how many ways I can test myself.  If my lifting is up, where are my gymnastics at, if my gymnastics are on point where’s my conditioning?  So many options that, if you stop going through the motions, you’ll see so many areas to play with.  I challenge you to take a moment and write down your why, post it somewhere you see and keep grinding.  

Let’s Talk About Time

Let’s Talk About Time

Time is the only real thing that you have control over.  Let’s get real for a moment…I hate the word busy.  If that word were wiped off the face of the planet I would be really happy! It’s one of the most overused words, and it will also make me look at you funny.  Time is the one even playing field, we all have the same amount.  It’s really up to you what you do with it. Each decision is a choice and I’m going to share the one thing that drastically changed the direction of CrossFit Icehouse, Time Blocking.  Yep that simple trick changed everything, drastically.

Time blocking gives you back control of your time, so instead of reacting to everything, you can be proactive.  For most of us from the moment we wake up we are reacting to our day. We have a to-do list that we’ll get to as soon as we put out this or that fire, we forget to eat because we’re running around all day and then by the time the end of the day comes there’s nothing left to give.  What if you decided what you were going to do and when.

Each Sunday I sit down with my calendar and my to do list.  I go through and I make my list of my non negotiables, classes I coach, my workouts, team meeting and family time.  Those get put in first.  Then anything with a deadline goes next and that’s where I stop.  I do this same thing on Tuesday and Thursday to make sure there’s nothing missed or see if anything came up in the week that needs to fit in.  This has allowed me to be productive, not busy.  If there’s something I want to do I can see my whole schedule and make time for it.

I challenge you all to give this a try both at home and at work.  Can you block off time for the things with deadlines, schedule times of day you check e-mail or focused work time.  This has been one of the most positive parts of my weekly routine and it’s become a challenge to be more productive in less time.  That leaves more time for things I really enjoy doing.

Let’s Get Positive

Let’s Get Positive

Ya’ll are crushing the first week of the Flux Challenge and we want to keep that going.  In this first week it’s all about awareness and creating a space for ourselves.  Something I want to dig into that can have a huge benefits on our health is positive self talk.  Now I’m not going to say you can’t ever be real with yourself because that’s not real. However, we are typically our own worst critic and that is something we can turn around.

Where do we start?

Since we are talking about fitness lets start with our mindset during our Flux classes.  Are you a person that watches Emily’s video and the first thought is “I can’t do that or that looks hard?”  Let’s dive into that a bit, the truth is you can do it and you’re more than likely going to crush it right?  We tend to set ourselves up for failure from the very start.  I want to challenge on your Flux days to tell yourself, “no matter what we are going to do, I’m going to crush it.”  This is going to take practice but once you master it, there’s not a workout Emily can toss at you that will rattle your mental state.

You’re Inner Voice

The second area I want to challenge you on your inner voice is with your nutrition.  Everyone and I mean everyone has an off meal or an off day. That’s okay we are human, it’s how we respond to that off day that can really set us up to be the most successful in this challenge.  If you find yourself knee deep in the cupcakes a co-worker brings in don’t self punish and then say “well this day is done, might as well get pizza.”  Nope, the reality is it was a cupcake, not your whole plan, not a reflection of who you are, it was a cupcake.  You ate it, probably satisfied a craving and now it’s time to refocus and get back on track.  Now this shouldn’t be happening everyday but that cupcake (or pizza or latte or whatever) does not mean you failed, it does not mean you are never going to finish the challenge.  If you can master saying “it’s okay, I’m still going to hit my goals and I’m ready,” you’ll really set yourself up to crush this challenge.

This week be aware of that voice in your head.  Only you can change your story!  Keep being awesome!

Managing Stress

Managing Stress

Stress, it almost feels like a buzz word these days.  It seems like people are always under constant pressure from all around to do more, work me and be more.  Stress can take a real toll on our bodies, both physically and emotionally.  Let’s dive in and talk about different ways we can manage some stress and the effects that can have on our performance.

The Stress Family

The stress family is not one to mess with especially when it comes to performance, we’re talking about anxiety, fear, pressure, nervousness and panic.  There are lots of theories out there on what causes these things to arise at the onset of performance but some common symptoms include, clammy palms, negative thoughts, profuse sweating, nausea, inability to focus, and/or trouble sleeping.  None of these sound like a good time.  Now that we know what it is let’s talk about some ways to manage this stress.

It Starts with Awareness

It is known that some amount of stress can be a really good thing.  Going into a workout or an event can cause a bit of butterflies which then turns on our “fight or flight” response, and this is  a good thing.  It can aid in performance and help us crush that new clean PR.  When this turns bad is when we start to doubt or fill our head with negative self talk.  The first step is to be aware this is happening.  Once you hear that little voice start talking take a second, breath and try to find out where this is coming from.  Is this your body telling you, hey you haven’t slept, you at a cheeseburger at lunch, I’ve had no water and now you want to do this?  Or are you not trusting yourself, filling yourself with and then starting to panic?  If this is the case it’s time to change the story in your head and start crushing some PR’s.

Managing The Story

The first part is making sure you are doing the little things outside of the gym, sleeping, eating clean foods and managing your recovery.  Once that’s taken care of we need to recognize the story in our head and understand that sometimes it really is just that, a story.  If all things outside the gym are on point, then take time to analyze what you are telling yourself.  Yes you can do most workouts, yes some days you just need to move, yes you are a really strong human; it’s about managing the negative thoughts that create too much stress.

Helpful Tips

One of the ways I’ve found to help with this is on my way to the gym.  I like to play upbeat music that helps keep my mood light, some people I know like to rock out on their way, maybe toss in some car singing and steering wheel drum set.  Once you’re at the gym dive straight in before you can have all the thoughts.  If you’re there early find a foam roller or do some mobility work to get the kinks out.  Once in the gym I like to laugh at the barbell like it’s my frenemy.  You know that laugh you give when you’re like “oh you say I can’t, watch me.”  If I follow this little routine, I don’t get super stressed about my fitness and it becomes a very welcome part of my day.  To recap, recognize your stress symptoms, find a routine or mantra that works for you, and keep the workout routine going.