Entries Tagged as 'Must Read Posts'
January 15th, 2014, by Jennie · 4 Comments
OPEN. It’s here. The 2014 CrossFit Open has finally landed. Each year the competition gets bigger and better. And each year I have to practically force people to register. It’s always the same excuses. “I’m not good enough. I can’t do pull-ups. I’m not at the level I want to be. I don’t like to compete.” Well stop right there, sister. I’m not taking your lame excuses this year. YOU’RE REGISTERING. And here’s why:
COMMUNITY. This whole CrossFit thing isn’t taking the world by storm because the workouts themselves are so super duper. It’s the same stuff people have been doing for decades. The community is what makes CrossFit so amazing. Suffering together. Being vulnerable together. Working towards a common goal. These are the things that strengthen the one-of-a-kind community we have at CrossFit Fire.
ASSESSMENT. We try to make you rock stars at EVERYTHING, but there’s bound to be something that trips you up. The Open is likely to uncover a weak link in your chain. This will give you something to focus on for the rest of the year. And let's face it, you will never be fully satisfied with where you’re at on your fitness journey. Waiting for the perfect time before participating simply means you will never participate.
FAILURE. It's completely normal to feel nervous, apprehensive, or down right scared about participating in the Open. As adults, we hate the thought of failing. For most, failure is to be avoided at all costs. Therefore, we bail before we have the chance to fail. By skipping out on the Open, you have immediately failed yourself. You have allowed yourself to run and hide from what you perceive to be uncomfortable. You only grow as a person when you leave your comfort zone.
MOTIVATION. Tossing your hat into the ring and registering serves as your public announcement. Your commitment to the world (and Facebook) that you are going to complete 5 brutally hard workouts for all the world to see. You’re telling the world that you are not a coward. And for 5 weeks you are going to give 110% of yourself to this worldwide competition.
SURPRISE. Every single year we witness people accomplishing what they previously thought was impossible. The Open brings out the best in all participants. Believe me when I tell you that you will surprise yourself. You'll lift something that at one time you thought was impossible, and then you’ll do it again. And again. And again. You will find that you are physically much stronger than your mind believes you are.
JOURNEY. In the end, I can’t ACTUALLY force you to register. But let me just tell you this – I have never talked to anyone who regretted their decision to participate. Not one person. So let’s do this together, wherever you may be at in your fitness journey. It's like, high Texas hair, big tits and white pants - go big or go home! Check your excuses at the door, take my hand, and let’s rock the SHIT out of this year’s Open!
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January 1st, 2014, by Jennie · Comments Off
2014. I hereby declare that 2014 is the year of no shortcuts. No stopping short. No taking the easy way out. No cutting corners. No backing off. Since it’s cliché to talk about resolutions on New Year’s Day, I’ll just talk about you. Your vision for yourself. Your "best you". Where do you want to be a year from now in your career, your life and in the gym? Most importantly in your life. Visualize for a second what you want your life to look like 365 short days from this moment. What is going to be different?
UNICORNS. Being amazing never came easy. And it shouldn't. If it were, then EVERYTHING would be amazing, right? If everything was unicorns and fairy dust, then how would we truly appreciate the work that went into accomplishing it?? One thing I have seen many times over the years is that if you didn't have to really work for something - put your sweat and love into it - you'll take it for granted. Challenges are what provide ordinary people with extraordinary success.
TEMPTED. And don't feel guilty for being tempted by the shortcut. It's not your fault. It's human nature. We are all looking for ways to make shit easier. The only problem is that sometimes looking for the easiest way can be a waste of time. You spend time scrambling and hesitating only to learn that there was never a shortcut in the first place. Think of the time you spend working towards a better you as an investment. If you were a house, the effort would be considered your sweat equity. And perhaps that's a perfect phrase for this....sweat equity.
DESIRE. Approach 2014 with the passion and desire of a person on a mission. Tackle everything in your life just expecting it to be tough. Do things the right way and you'll only have to do them once. Set goals and fulfill your commitments even when nobody is looking. Life is all about the journey, so make it worthwhile and say "fuck the shortcuts". After all, aren't you worth it?
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December 23rd, 2013, by Ryan The Lion · Comments Off
TEACH. I can teach you how to squat. I can teach you how to Olympic lift. I can teach you how to kip and how to improve your mobility. Unfortunately, there is one thing I cannot teach you - mental toughness.
CAN'T. I can't teach you to keep fighting for extra reps. I can't teach you how to keep pressing on when your muscles burn, when you are out of breath, and when every ounce of your being tells you to stop. I can't teach you to get over your fear of that injury you had half a lifetime ago. I can't give you the willpower to pass on junk food and alcohol.
TOUGH. Mental toughness has to come from inside you. Being mentally tough means controlling your emotions. It means embracing the suck - taking your weaknesses and making them your strengths. It means setting your goals high and doing your best to reach them.
WORK. All too often people are concerned with working specific muscle areas - biceps, abs, chest - but they neglect the most important muscle of all. The one between their ears. (disclaimer - we shall assume the brain is in fact a muscle)
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December 3rd, 2013, by Jennie · Comments Off
PHONE CALL. I received a phone call a while ago. It wasn't unlike hundreds of other phone calls I have received. Someone was looking to join the Fort. We talked for a while about what she has tried in the past to reach her fitness goals and then she asked, "So what can you do for me?" It's not often that I'm speechless. Caught off guard. But somehow I didn't know how to respond.
GIFT. What can I do for you? That question just burned into my brain. There was only one way to respond. I said, "well let me ask you this...what are you willing to give?" As anyone who has had success knows, it's not about what you're given, it's about how you use it. It's about how much you put into each WOD. How hard you are willing to try. I can't "DO" anything for you other than provide you with the tools you need to succeed. The tools are there. I've handed them to you in a gift wrapped package. Bow on top. It's your turn to open the box and see what's inside.
AUDIT. Use all the tools in there - don't audit which ones you're using. We give all the tools because we know that the combination is what produces success. CrossFit Fire gives you the workouts, the nutrition program, and the community. Every tool you need to have great success is there. All WOD and no diet makes for strong chubby people. All diet and no WOD makes for skinny fat people. Eliminating the community from either of those scenarios makes for people who only commit for a very small time. You MUST do it all.
TOOLS. So which tools are you currently using? Take a second and really think about it. Are you using all 3? Community, WOD and nutrition? If not, it's time to open up that toolbox again and take another look. We're here if you need any help learning to use your new tools.
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November 11th, 2013, by Jennie · 6 Comments
- A Guest Post by Amber Rich
Ever wish you could travel back in time and tell yourself what you should’ve done, or what you should’ve NEVER done? After being in CrossFit for one year, I have seen myself change both physically and mentally. I’ve done things that I never thought I could do, and have done some pretty stupid things. Since there is no time machine, I wanted to share my first year as a CrossFit Rookie. Here’re a few things I learned as a Rook:
Jump in with both feet! Introduce yourself to everyone. Even if you have seen their face, but have not officially met; go right up to him/her and introduce yourself. Why? So you can encourage them during the WOD. “Good job, So-And-So!” “C’mon, So-And-So, keep moving, you’ve got this.” It’s the kind of community that makes the Fort so cool.
“Like this?” “Can you watch me do this?” “Am I doing this right?” Next, ask questions! Ask a lot of questions. It’s ok to be needy, especially when it’s something so new. Plus, if you have never lifted weights you MUST have some questions. There’s so many things you have to think about to get the movements just right. This is a brand new thing; Ask, ask, ask! Knowledge is power; and it keeps you safe.
Watch out! Keep on the look out! See how experienced people are doing things. Chances are, they are using great form and are being as efficient as possible. Mimic them. If they do burpees differently than you, try it their way. Also, be careful; steer clear of someone when they are lifting. Give them space in case they fall backward or drop the weights.
Coaches. You need a Coach for encouragement, advice on weight allotment, and to watch your form. This is the external coach. You also need to equip yourself with an internal coach; the one in your head. The one that tells you to, “move your ass!” or “don’t give up now, keep going!” This coach is just as important as the external coach. Be your biggest fan by having that one extra coach in your head telling you that you can and you will. You will do so much better on the WODs by listening to both of your coaches!
Eff the Clock & Eff the HEAVY Weights. Take your time to learn the form. Form is golden. Form is king. Form is safety. DO NOT COMPROMISE FORM FOR TIME! You are new to the game and this wonderful world of Olympic weightlifting. Allow yourself to be a beginner. Take your time. You will need to practice over and over again, and not every movement is focused on daily. Trying to beat people on the board with better times and heavier weights will get you injured. Spend the first year focusing on form and stretching. If you take nothing away from this blog post but one thing, let this be it: You will perform better and lift much heavier weights if you learn the technique inside and out, first.
Lastly, Go To Events! Go to Team Saturdays and as many CrossFit Fire events as you can. It’s about meeting the people you workout with and making friends with them. Be a part of it. The hardest part is walking in the door for the very first time, after that, no problem! It’s such a blast and it makes you really see and value CrossFit Fire Fire for the family and close community that sets the Fort head-and-shoulders above the others.
Good Luck, Rookies! Be Safe & Have Fun!
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October 28th, 2013, by Jennie · 3 Comments
PREEBOK. See this picture? This was our very first location. We got to claim 600 square feet of AWESOME as our very own. There were about 7 of us working out together consistently. We shared one 24" box. One rower. One barbell. One Squat rack. It was a fun and exciting time not only for us, but for the entire CrossFit community. We were doing something new, something that made us unique.
NEW GUY. I can even remember the first time somebody found us that wasn't from our group of friends. He came to our gym and asked who our "best guy" was. I just shrugged and smiled and pointed at one of our guys, "he's the one who always finishes first in our workouts." Compete? Us? That seemed silly. How did you even find us!?
THEN. Back then, CrossFit was small. It was a secret underground society of people who liked punishing workouts and going against the grain. If you found a CrossFit affiliate in your area, you were considered lucky. It wasn't uncommon for people to drive an hour each way to their nearest affiliate. We were the 2nd affiliate in Illinois, and now there are over 300. My how things have changed.
COMMITMENT. The best thing about "back then" was the level of commitment from the people who found CrossFit. It wasn't something you could just stumble upon. You weren't shopping in Dick's Sporting Goods when you happened to walk by a rack of "CrossFit Reebok" shoes when you decided, "CrossFit sounds fun, I think I'll try it". People who would normally succumb to all the latest fitness fads were so busy buying Shape Ups, that CrossFit wasn't even on their radar. There wasn't a single main stream way of finding us.
NOW. Change is good. I liked CrossFit when it was "secret", but I also like it now. I remember buying 3 copies of the issue of Men's Health magazine when they first ran an article about CrossFit. I liked when my Mom called me to say she just saw CrossFit on TV. I still remember feeling excited when I heard about celebrities who were doing CrossFit. All of that meant that CrossFit was growing, gaining popularity. It meant that more people than ever were going to be able to experience the glorious thing I had come to love so much. Lives EVERYWHERE were going to be changed by this fitness movement.
What I want to drive home is that CrossFit isn't a "get fit quick" scheme. It isn't a fad. There isn't an infomercial claiming that you can get 6-pack abs or add 7" to your biceps in 30 days. CrossFit is about putting in hard work, and getting amazing results in return. In the end, there is no magic pill you can swallow. No worm hole you can disappear down and magically emerge healthy. When you're considering CrossFit, ask yourself how badly you want to reach your goals. We're not going to make it easy for you, but we're going to give you all the tools you need to work hard and get results.
WELCOME. All you need to do in order to reach your goals is to keep showing up. So come on out to the Fort and give CrossFit a try. Heck, you can even wear your CrossFit Reebok shoes. Because in the end, it doesn't matter how you heard about us, just that you want to join us for some fun and hard work.
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September 23rd, 2013, by Jennie · Comments Off
AND THEN WHAT? Couch to 5K. Your 26.2. 10 Week Half Marathon Program. Know what all of those programs have in common? They all have a very definite goal, and a clear end. You do XYZ and at the end you ABC, because that's the goal. Run. A long, long time. But after the running, what happens then? What do you focus on after you cross the finish line and collect your participation medal?
YAY FITNESS. I'm a huge supporter of any program that gets people off the couch and moving. I love fitness. I love exercise. Do I sometimes get caught mocking people on elliptical machines reading magazines and not breaking a sweat? Yes. Have I actually laughed out loud when I saw a woman on a treadmill talking on her cell phone? Yes. I'm an asshole, I guess. But at the end of the day, I love when people are working hard for a goal that is important to them. What I don't love is when people are going through the motions just to say they did something.
EFFORT. Did you spend 45 minutes on that treadmill? Yep, you sure did. But....you spent the whole time chatting with your sister about how she needs to stop dating online and meet a "respectable man". And how if she ever wants to be taken seriously at work she needs to get rid of her nose piercing. Seriously? Don't kid yourself. What you did was go through the motions without putting in the effort. It's kind of like sitting through class in college and making eye contact with your teacher, but listening to Katy Perry through your headphones simultaneously. The worst part of all of that, is that everyone can reach their "goal" regardless of how much effort they actually put forth. Sure, you ran a half marathon. But how hard did you ACTUALLY work? What did you take away from that program? Can it be applied in other areas of your life?
JOURNEY. Know what I love about CrossFit? It's not just one goal. It's a journey. There is no finish line. It's a never ending quest to get better, faster, fitter. (yes, fitter is a real word. I own a gym, I would know. Pfffft) You will get out of CrossFit exactly what you put into it. You're not going to be able to say that you reached the finish line even though you were the lady on her cell phone on that treadmill.....because CrossFit will not reward you with that satisfaction. If you want it, be prepared to work your ass off for it!
CHANGE. When you start CrossFit you might not even know what your goals are, but they will eventually emerge. The key with CrossFit is that you can't ever STOP setting goals. Always be on the lookout for something to keep working towards. And maybe you even set a goal and it changes. When we first met at your free assessment did you tell me you just wanted to lose 10lbs and feel healthier? Those are great goals! But maybe these days your focus has changed and now you want to get unassisted pull-ups, 100kg+ deadlift, AND run a 5K. Those are ALSO great goals.
POINT. Believe it or not, this post isn't intended to bag on running. There are a lot of people that I train daily and love dearly that like to run. I'm enormously proud when members of our Fort family run 5K's, half or full marathons! CrossFit is definitely helping prepare you for whatever lies ahead! The point of all this is to never choose a single focus for your goals. Choose a variety of things that will take you anywhere from 30 days - a year to accomplish. CrossFit is going to have a spiderweb effect, and your goals will branch out creating new and diverse goals in all areas of your life. This will make your fitness journey more fun, challenging and rewarding. Don't put in just enough to earn a participation medal...because there isn't one in CrossFit. You have to earn your goals.
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