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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!

Coach Mo’s Year In Review

Coach Mo’s Year In Review

I love taking time to look back and see how I can really crush going forward.  If you are looking to up your game, take a moment to do a year in review of your own.  You’ll really start to notice wins and trends that can make your next year even better.  This is a very high level of my review, I like to take a half a day and dig deep into how things are going.  This can help me see this years wins and find some blind spots I didn’t know were there.  After this process, I sit down and sets some unreasonable goals for the next year up to five years out.

How I Like to Do a Full Year in Review

I take a look at 5 major areas of my life and Family, Relationships, Financial, Health and Career.  The one question I make sure I answer in each area “where are some gaps in what I’m saying I want in this area, and how I’m actually living.”  This is usually a great place to really move the needle for me and includes a lot of writing.  Below I’m giving you a snap shot of my day of writing.

Taking a Look Back

This year has been beautiful and full of self discovery and also very challenging at times.  The year started off with one of the happiest moments of my life and that was getting engaged to Ashely in January.  The year progressed into some serious inner work and graduating from The Strong Coach program.  That lead to a really great change of perspective and aligning my coaching with who I really am.  Through some counseling sessions I learned what an empath is and that I am one.  That was like turning a light switch on in a dark room, this would be a whole blog on its own.

The Strong Coach and Energy Work

Graduating from the Strong Coach really helped me follow my intuition.  I’ve always loved exploring the connection between the mind and body, Strong Coach gave me permission to really dive into that.  I have been exploring energy work and how that affects my movement and workouts.  For the energy work, I found four people to help with this.  Energy is something that is fascinating to me and so I dove into craniosacral, healing touch, reflexology and massage therapy’s.  I know there are a ton of mental benefits from all four of these, and for me, there have been crazy physical healings as well.  I can hit the gym 5 days a week, my knees don’t hurt for the first time in about 10 years and I’m sleeping better than I have in years.

Thank You

As for the gym, I have fallen in love with CrossFit again.  I have trained 3-4 days all year but there was a time when it was a struggle.  I have had more fun the last 4 months hopping into classes and getting to be silly with all of you.  I’m really excited to be doing what I love and have the opportunity to explore human development in the ways I have.  I love the work we do at Icehouse and this year has given me such a chance to really explore why I love coaching so much.  I really thank all of you for being a part of our Icehouse family both members and those of you who haven’t been ready to commit yet.  Thank you for following along.

Coach Skeds’ Year in Review

Coach Skeds’ Year in Review

2019 Year in Review

It really does seem like the start of 2019 was just a minute ago…yet here I am the early part of December already…holy smokes!

So I’ll start my year in review by taking a look at my intentions for 2019

Movement

  • 250 training sessions
  • 36 non structured training 
  • 200 accessory sessions
  • 200 ROMWOD sessions
  • 12 “Meet Yourself Saturday” WOD

Fueling

  • Post WOD Shake
  • Salt, lemon water
  • 20 meal prepped meals per week
  • 3-Day Fast once per quarter

Recovery

  • “Off the grid” once every 2 months
  • 260 IR Sauna sessions
  • 30 minutes a day with the pups
  • 30 minutes a day writing 
  • 50 coffee dates
  • 10 times, not more than 2 drinks

…that looks like a lot, right?  Here’s what I ended up tracking…

…not really any of it throughout the year…

So…does that mean that 2019 was a waste then??

Nope, not even close!

2019 In Review

Looking back, I had really great intentions to build habits… A number of the goals that I’d set have become basically automatic (post workout shake; salt, lemon water; meal prep…) and some goals I didn’t have a strong enough ‘why’ behind them and they just didn’t stick (accessory sessions; IR sauna sessions; coffee dates).

2019 was also a tremendous year of unexpected growth; the numbers that I didn’t hit or track were eclipsed by goals and transformations that I’d never even considered, and honestly it’s put me in a position to set better goals.

And what do “better goals” look like?

What I plan on doing for 2020 is picking 1 Habit and 1 Experience and setting my intentions on that 1 for an entire month…then choosing another habit to focus on for the following month, then so on and so forth…ideally building 12 habits throughout the year and having 12 experiences by the end of the year.

So what is my Habit and Experience for January 2020?

Habit: ROMWOD 5 times a week

Experience: Spending 3 days in Denver

How about February through December? 

Learning from last year, I’m going to set my February Habit and Experience in January…my focus may change throughout the year and I want to give myself the freedom to adapt on the fly.

As a recovering “box checker” I’m excited to give this goal setting process a shot!

Cheers to a 2020 filled with Limitless Color!

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.