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Coach Jordan’s 2019 Top 5

Coach Jordan’s 2019 Top 5

 

2019 went FAST! There were a ton of things that happened in 2019. So I’ll narrow it down to my top 5, and end with what I’m currently looking forward to in 2020!

5) College Graduation!

What can I say? I’m done with school, for now. That does not mean that I’m done learning. The completion of a degree really just means that I know how to learn. Or I can cram well enough to pass tests. I’ll let you decide!

4) Full Time At Icehouse!

I’m gonna be honest. Working at Icehouse is a sweet gig. I get to work for some pretty good boss ladies. I’m surrounded by coworkers who really are a team. I’m encouraged to learn more about the things that I find interesting. I’m forced to grow, in so many ways. You guys, the members are all here to get better for yourselves. You all have different goals, and journeys, and that makes me need to learn new things! It’s great because you don’t give me a choice! It might be learning about one of your intrests so that I can have meaningful conversation, or even learning a new way to rehab a muscle group to get you out of pain.  Heck, even scrubbing the floor, I get time to listen to podcasts and learn from those. The more I type. I can’t belive that I get to do this! You’re telling me, I get to work with people, help them hit new PR’s, or accomplish goals, and feel the same way as hitting a PR or goal makes me feel? Every day? For money too? Nobody tell Mo & Shoe… I’d do it for free!

3) Starting Icehouse Movement

Everyone is different. Your structure, injuries, strengths, weaknesses all contribute to how you move. I like to solve puzzles. I also like exercise. From this program, I get to figure out the puzzle of why you are in pain, or can’t move the way you would like. Then we fix it. We do corrective exercises, that make you work directly on whatever is the issue. 3x a week, 15-20 minutes. You do the work, you get the results. If we can’t fix it, I’ll help you find someone who can. So if you are in pain, or not moving the way that you would like. Reach out. I’d love to help!

2) Fitness

I like exercise, it makes me happy. I got to do a whole lot of it this last year! It’s basically all I talk about, think about, or even do. Heck, I even got to get on a plane, and go to a whole new city just to exercise, even though it was only 6 lifts. Exercise and fitness will always be important to me. I have seen too much first hand to change my mind on the importance of consistent exercise. I’m so thankful for the opportunty to do all the things that fitness allows and makes easier.

1) I pretty much just did what I wanted…

I can’t really look back and think of a year where I did more of what made me happy. I’m pretty simple, I like to eat good food, I like to put things above my head, I like to be outdoors, I like my job, and I like to spend quality time with those I care about. I did an awful lot of that in 2019! For that I am super thankful.

2020!!

For 2020 I’d like to find myself doing even more things that make me happy, growing, learning, putting heavier things above my head, and more quality adventures with great people!

 

 

Coach Anna’s Year in Review

Coach Anna’s Year in Review

2019 was a big year of change and growth for me.

At the very end of 2018, I was forced to make a career change and fast. I was pretty unhappy with my current situation and knew that I was being unauthentic and just not myself in that role. Coach Shoe and I, as many know, completed our yoga teacher training together in 2016 and had kept in touch throughout the years. We met for lunch one day and everything fell into place. I was mid way through my nutrition training and Icehouse was looking for a new coach. We got to work SUPER fast so I could come on board and start a nutrition program at the gym.

Kicking off the new year I was pulled in different directions.

I was working jobs both at Icehouse and at Family Wellness. It was like night and day, the differences between the two gyms. Icehouse felt like hanging out with friends and was truly the only place I wanted to be dedicating my time to. Enter lots of grinding and hard work to make that happen. Halfway through the year I completed my nutrition training in Tampa, FL and was brought on full time by Coaches Shoe and Mo.

Personally and financially, 2019 brought a lot of growth, too.

I really dug my heels in budget-wise because I wanted to create a side nutrition business, Body in Balance Nutritional Therapy. We also bought a house, so homeowner life throws it’s curve balls (hello basement flooding in the spring). I’m still not where I need to be, but 2020 is going to be a big year in all aspects. Looking back at 2019 is pretty cool. While there was a lot of anxiety, stress, and diving into my own health journey, now that the year is wrapping up I can see the change and knowledge that accompanied all of that.

I feel like I am ready to go into 2020 with clear goals.

And I have a fresh desire to make them happen. Things I want to accomplish in 2020:

  • Acclimate to life in Alabama.
  • Continue to provide content and grow the nutrition program at Icehouse.
  • Start a blog on my website: www.bodyinbalance.live
  • Stick to my personal budget and save $10K (lofty!)
  • Do some pretty serious personal development.

For me I don’t find a fresh start at the beginning of each year. Therefore, I take a new year as an opportunity to reset, regroup, and reevaluate where I want the upcoming year to take me. 2019 was a year of change and figuring out my path. 2020 is going to be the year to build on that.

Happy holidays, friends!

Morning Person Vs Night Owl

Morning Person Vs Night Owl

Morning Person Vs Night OwlCoach Omaha & Coach Shoe are basically opposites when it comes to their preference on training schedules, and their feelings on mornings in general.  So the challenge was thrown out for Coach Omaha to attend the lates class of the day, and Coach Shoe to try a morning class.  (Like a real one at 5:30AM, not 10AM which is what she usually considers a morning class).  Here is what they have to say about switching it up.

Morning Class for the Non Morning Person

If it were up to me, I would never have to speak before 10AM.  Or lift before 10AM.  Or really do much of anything, but those 2 things are for some reason the toughest right out of bed for me.  For those reasons the only time I am at the gym before 8 on any given day is to coach classes, and even that takes A LOT of coffee to wake myself enough to do well.  Flux or yoga classes are a little more my speed in the morning, mostly because you hang out on your mat and the talking is minimal (which is good for my still asleep brain).  For these reasons in almost 5 years of owning Icehouse, I have never participated in a morning class.  Here are my thoughts on the morning class.

1. The hardest part is getting enough sleep, and getting to the gym on time.

I usually am at the gym pretty late, and work a bit even after classes wrap up so winding down and getting good sleep was the toughest part of this whole exercise.  I told a few people that I was coming into class, and that was probably the only reason I actually listened to my alarm clock when it went off.  Having that extra accountability helped.  And Omaha had already hit up his evening class and told me ALL ABOUT IT, so I had to hold up my end of the deal.

2. Warming up takes longer

Working out later in the day I get warmed up way quicker, likely because I’ve been up and moving for at least part of the day already.  It was a similar feeling to when I had a desk job and came to workout right after sitting all day, so that is a relative feeling but one that I definitely noticed as my legs never really were fully onboard with the workout until we were in it. (My legs are also not morning people).

3. The Morning Crew is Pretty F’in Rad

Community is what makes CrossFit so great, and I love me a fun crew to do a tough workout with.  Our morning crew is next level, especially at such a ridiculous hour.  My ongoing theory is that Coach Omaha is spring loaded out of bed each morning, which I think is even more true after experiencing him first thing. But our 5:30AM crew is the epitome of what CrossFit is to me.  There are people of all different ages, jobs, experience levels and everyone is crazy supportive of one another (albeit super sassy as well).  They all show up consistently, and do the hard work together, while throwing jokes out, picking each other up and making the new folks feel like they’ve been there all along.  I even got 3 rounds of applause for coming (mostly because no one actually believed I would 😂).

The Verdict on Mornings: 👍

While they will likely not be a regular occurrence with my current schedule of working so late, I will absolutely be back to more of them! Thanks for the awesome way to start my day!

Coach Omaha Tries Out Night Life

For the past 3 years I have spent the majority of my time at Icehouse between the hours of 5 and 10 a.m. This past week however I ventured outside of my comfort zone and into the mysterious world of fitnessing in the evening.

There is something to be said for getting up early, hitting that workout hard and moving on with your day knowing you have already won the best part of it. As many of my morning classes have heard me say, “Way to crush the morning now go own the day!” But perhaps fitness in the evening could be like a fine dessert, the perfect finish to a great meal.
Things that are different in the evening class that I noticed:

1. Interaction between athletes

My norm when taking part in class is to be vocal, talk when I have questions, talk when I am uncomfortable, pretty much just talk my way through class. The morning crew is filled with people similar to me in nature, love listening to ourselves, our opinions, and our motivation of one and other.
The evening class allows for a more mellow experience where nobody is really waiting to talk!!!!!!  I almost couldn’t handle it, and I apologize to the 6:40 class that I visited, I promise I did my best to try and not monopolize that entire hour with my continuous conversation.

2. Size of class

As of late the morning classes have been really packing them in! With that however, makes for a battle space at times, barbells flying everywhere, legs swinging from the rig making the metcon become part obstacle course part work out.
The evening class on the other hand offers beautiful spacious floor space that allows for CrossFitters of any kind or ability to move without restriction from movement to movement. Making the ability to strategize for a metcon with ease.

3. Atmosphere

I feel like we all know what the early morning classes have in store atmosphere wise.  We are there to get things done! Group of alphas ready to kick off the day by slugging our way through an early morning attack.  Taking that feeling and motivation throughout the day and into our other daily tasks.
With the evening class the tasks are done, the meetings have been had, and the deadline from the day is met.  A much more social vibe exists at the class I visited.  Happy to be finishing the day with some well deserved self care.
Lets just be Honest……
I’M NEVER GONNA BE A EVENING WORKOUT KINDA  GUY!!!!!
I sure was tired, and Ill say it maybe a little CRANKY!
But what I will say is that evening group has something that works for them, and to that I tip my cap. At the end of it all we all have to be selfish enough on a daily basis to make the decision to take care of ourselves in order to improve the other parts of our lives for the better.
We all have that in common, we are all trying to improve and be the best version of ourselves that we know how to be.
Keep on keeping on my EVENING PEEPs!  Coach Jake Salutes you!
5 Ways to Weekend Without Sacrificing Fun or Progress

5 Ways to Weekend Without Sacrificing Fun or Progress

We’ve all been there.  It’s Friday afternoon, and you have been absolutely crushing your fitness/nutrition game all week long and are feeling great.  Then the happy hour invite rolls in for drinks after work.  The happy hour turns into a night out.  Which then turns into a skipped workout Saturday morning.  Since you skipped your workout and aren’t feeling great, why not just head to tailgate or watch football with some friends?!  Then Sunday shows up and you are still feeling sluggish, and there is still a lot of football to watch and beers/wings/nachos to be had.  Besides, you’ll get back too in on Monday…

Sound familiar?

This is VERY common. Especially in the midwest when weather turns cold and the only socializing most of us do is at the bar.  This is also something I struggled with FOR YEARS.  Here are my five tips to not completely derail your progress each and every weekend.

1. Get Another Hobby

Yes, I 100% understand that this is a gross oversimplification. However if you only find yourself socializing at the bar then you need to find something else to do.  I know for me that was exactly what my twenties were, heading right to happy hour after work, eating some half priced apps, a few cheap beers.  Rinse and repeat.  For me the hobby that slowed that down was CrossFit.

Did CrossFit alone fix my problem? NOPE!  Did it give me another, healthier place to socialize so I cut down on the drinking and crappy appetizers?  Absolutely.  Slowly I started to swap the crappy food for healthier options and cutting back on the beers because they were making me feel terrible during workouts (and really all the time).  Once I started eating real food, moving, and sleeping I began to realize how much better I could feel. I actually didn’t even realize how bad I felt before making those changes.  So while getting another hobby may not fix anything, it can be the shift in momentum you need to get started on something new!

So, if you’ve seen workouts, activities, sports (hello rec league kickball), craft classes, music lessons or really anything else you think would be fun to try, do it! Even if it isn’t necessarily an active hobby, it could help you reduce the amount of time you spend going out, which could be the shakeup you need to start making other changes too!

2. Plan your weekends

I know having some spontaneity is exciting and fun, and you should still allow for that from time to time, but most often we fall completely off the wagon due to lack of planning.

If you know you have a holiday party on Saturday night, PLAN FOR IT! Make sure you are hydrating and eating well the the day of the party.  Then enjoy yourself, get some sleep, then start the next day with a healthy breakfast and maybe something active to shake off the headache that tends to come from too many sweets or spiked eggnogs.  Avoid the urge to use a social event as an excuse for an entire 48 hour window! Have a good time, then get back at making healthier choices at the very next opportunity!

 

3. Build a Rest Day into Your Weekend

We need rest days every 3-4 for days to help us recover properly, so why not plan for one of them to fall on the weekend?  You can either plan a full rest day, or even better find something fun to do with friends and make it an active rest day! Maybe it’s a walk with your dog through a local park, going sledding with your kids, try an escape room or throwing axes.  There are lots of new places popping up that don’t require a drink to socialize! Another great rest day activity is meal prep!  Use one of those days to prep some healthy meals so you are setting yourself up for the week (or weekend) as best you can!  Having a plan for meals reduces the chances of hitting the drive through once hanger strikes.

4. Host a healthy dinner party or potluck!

There are lots of delicious and nutritious foods out there, and it is easiest to take control of the meal yourself so why not share with friends!  If you have been working on your health, odds are your friends know.  Why not invite them over for a healthy meal to thank them for their support.  And you can even show them that being healthy doesn’t mean you have to just take supplements and eat cardboard.  You can also host a healthy potluck, have everyone make extra and divide up the leftovers.  It’s basically meal prep done for you with more variety!

5. Give Yourself Some Grace

If you do stay out later and have a few more beers (or pizzas) then you had planned on, that is ok.  It happens to all of us, we are human and some nights are just too damn fun! Do you want to repeat that again the next day cause “screw it I’ll start again Monday!”? Of course not, but there is no need to beat yourself up over the past.  Often times the guilt we feel over “failing” ourselves with a bad nutritional choice can be enough for us to throw in the towel.  But why?! You have been working SO hard, and doing so many other AMAZING things, don’t let an extra slice of pizza stop all of that! I like to think of a healthy meal after a not so healthy night out as a way to get to feeling better faster.  I know if I eat all the leftover pizza I will be feeling crappy again tomorrow, so why go through it again and loose more time?  I want to feel better

5 Easy Tips to Keep Meal Prep Simple

5 Easy Tips to Keep Meal Prep Simple

When you think about meal prepping does it seem like some daunting, time consuming task that you HAVE to do? It definitely used to be that way for me. I felt like I needed to prep something different for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. That, as you can imagine, led to a lot of money wasted on ingredients and a lot of extra food that sometimes went to waste. I now have a pretty tight budget when it comes to groceries because it can be so easy to go overboard. Developing a simple meal prep routine has really helped me stay on budget each month, eat healthy, and save time during the work week.

Here are my top tips for keeping meal prep simple:

  1. Make a plan for the entire week. Figure out your schedule with work, workouts, and extra curriculars and see where you can most benefit from meals that are already prepped. Hitting up the 6:40 PM class consistently? Definitely meal prep your dinners, so that by the time you get home all you need to do is reheat your food.
  2. Batch cook! Prep things like protein and starches in bulk. Add a bunch of chicken to a sheet pan or crock pot and cook enough servings for the entire week. Same with your starches– sweet potatoes, rice, spaghetti squash, etc. These generally take longer to cook and reheat fairly well, so make them ahead of the week to save time.
  3. Use convenience appliances like a crock pot or instant pot. During your weekend prep you can create entire meals to store in the freezer, then during the week add the meal to your crock pot and let it cook all day. Easy for family dinner nights! Pinterest has A TON of freezer meal ideas.
  4. Plan for meals that you know you will be eating out. Make meals out special! Spend your time and money wisely and choose places that serve quality food. Rather than grabbing fast food on your lunch break or on your way home from the gym (gasp).
  5. Choose a method that work for you. Do enjoy cooking dinner for yourself or your family each night? Great! When you do your weekend prepping make a plan for the week ahead and get all the ingredients you need. You can prepare ingredients like washing and chopping vegetables and thawing out protein. Everything will be ready to go each night when you make dinner. Do you know for a fact that you will not cook during the week? Then follow step 1!

I hope this helps! Establishing a healthy meal prep, or nutrition in general for that matter, routine takes some trial and error. You cannot know what will work best for you until you try out different things. You can only benefit from being organized!

The Formerly Pregnant Crossfitter: A Reflection

The Formerly Pregnant Crossfitter: A Reflection

CrossFit, at the best of times, has a stigma of being the workout regimen for the insane, balls to the wall, would rather puke than rest individuals. Yes, it can be intense but it’s all a matter of personal choice. But the general population does not see that. Now take a woman who does CrossFit and tell her she’s pregnant.

Pregnancy, back in the day, meant a woman was to stay in bed and do nothing except grow a baby. Slowly through time, women were allowed to walk around and do the bare minimum, but don’t strain yourself, sweetheart. Fast forward through the centuries to today when everyone has a theory, insight, or, best of all, an opinion on how or if a pregnant woman can approach exercise.

What people need to understand, from what I experienced during pregnancy, is that the level of intensity a pregnant woman can work out at is dependent on that woman and her baby. That’s it. One pregnancy is not the same as the next. It never has been and never will be.

I was lucky enough to have an OBGYN who stayed active during her pregnancies and recommended I keep doing what I was doing during mine. Her only advice was to watch my heart rate and listen to my body. She recommended this not only because of her experiences but also because I had been doing CrossFit faithfully for 2 years when I got pregnant. My body was used to the intensity; I had self-awareness built up to know when to go hard or dial it back. The takeaway here is that I could keep doing CrossFit through pregnancy because it was familiar. Pregnancy is NOT a good time to start Crossfit if you’ve not done it before.

The first trimester was a learning experience.

As much as I wanted WODs to be business as usual, it became more apparent that adjustments needed to be made. During the 2019 Open, I did the workouts the best I could but found that my heart rate would get way too high to keep the baby safe. A woman’s heart rate naturally gets higher during pregnancy to accommodate the little alien and all the extra blood in the body. Weights went down slightly on all my lifts. The first three months were all about learning to play the same game but with new rules.

The second trimester is when the belly starts to form. As weird as it sounds, it’s about re-learning how to move through familiar movements. Once my bump started to show up, I had to adjust my position in my squats. All my extra weight was on the front of my body, forcing me to send the rest of my weight further into my heels. Modifications started coming into play. The beauty of CrossFit is that mods can be made without sacrificing intensity. I kept doing box jumps and double unders until they became cumbersome and uncomfortable. Then I did weighted step ups or went on the assault bike instead of using a rope. Running was almost completely replaced with rowing or biking. I always watched my heart rate and made movement choices based on what was best for me and my little girl.

Things got frustrating in the third trimester.

Burpees were long gone, most barbell movements were replaced by dumbbells, and my beloved wall balls were downsized from the Rx 14 pounds to 10. Pregnancy is psychological as well as physical, so through all the adjustments that I almost felt insulted by, I reminded myself that this was for a greater good.

My last CrossFit workout was 3 days before I went into labor.

I’m proud to say that I was able to attend Crossfit WODs at least 12 times per month each month of my third trimester. That was possible because we did it the smart way. My coach knows my mindset and knew how to communicate with me when I wanted to crush a WOD but he knew I shouldn’t. He made each workout approachable for a pregnant person without it being too simple, keeping my fragile ego intact. Looking at you, Baby Traps.

Another helpful factor was having an OB that understood my lifestyle and goals.

This, obviously, isn’t something a gym can provide as they are not doctors, but it is important to have a doctor who supports you. If my OB had said no working out during pregnancy, I would have gone insane. Working out during pregnancy is mental as much as physical. It gives you a sense of normalcy when everything else is going upside down.

The last important ingredient is to have a great support system.

Surround yourself with people who know your pregnancy and postpartum fitness goals.  My pregnancy goals were to keep from gaining a ton of preggo weight, (which I ultimately had no control over), and to stay sane through the mind-numbing, endorphins-producing “cult” of CrossFit. My postpartum goals, which will be attacked as soon as my doctor says it’s cool, are to go as hard as my body will let me and allow myself time to get back to where I was as far as performance.

It’s important to note that this is a reflection of only one pregnancy, mine. I had an incredibly easy pregnancy that allowed me to keep moving at the speed I was used to. That’s not the situation for everybody.  Some women are high-risk pregnancies and need to scale earlier or more drastically. And CrossFit allows for that. There are women who become so flexible during pregnancy that lifting the loads they are used to is dangerous. They can maintain the intensity by modifying the movement and CrossFit allows for that.

Moral of this long story:

If you know of a pregnant woman doing CrossFit, support her. She has talked with her doctors and coaches and is doing what she needs to do. She will scale as she needs to, rest as she needs to, and perform her best. Outside opinions are not necessary. In fact, applause to all the pregnant women, past, present, and future, who endured the CrossFit stigma as well as the endless opinions about safe fitness during pregnancy. You were strong before but, damn, you’re titans now.

As for myself, I can’t wait to get back and annihilate some girl WODs. Specifically Karen, Kelly, Cindy, Barbara, Helen, Annie, and Fran. Because after labor, nothing can hurt me now.