Entries Tagged as 'Must Read Posts'
August 18th, 2014, by Jennie · No comments
Everyone is nervous about starting CrossFit. Everyone. I had someone tell me years ago that she would get nauseous every time she drove past our building. Walking through the door for the first time is the hardest thing you'll ever do. I would know, I've been a beginner 3 times.
DNF. I started CrossFit abruptly back in January of 2008. (this picture is me with Annie Sakamoto) My first time attempting a workout was at my Level 1 certification. I was the only girl there who couldn't do pull-ups. I was the only person without visible abs. Hell, I didn't finish a single workout they gave us. And...I cried. CrossFit was hard, and I was embarrassed to be so out of shape.
OUCH. For about a week after we returned from the certification, my body ached. Actually, ached is the wrong word. It throbbed and screamed. Every muscle in my body was sore. But somewhere inside me I knew CrossFit was exactly the thing I had been looking for. Sure, it would have been nice to be able to sit to pee without wincing, or walk down the stairs forwards again, but I was hooked.
DOSE. Fortunately for all of you, you're not starting your CrossFit journey at a level 1 certification. You get to start it at the Fort, surrounded by other people of all fitness levels. And we're not going to give you such a potent dose of CrossFit that you can't raise your arms to blow dry your hair. Our team of coaches is here to help you adjust the workout so that it matches your current level of fitness.
BEGIN. I'm telling you that if there's anywhere to be a beginner, it's CrossFit Fire. We'll help you get started the right way to ensure you keep coming back for more! Just remember this - the first 6 workouts are the hardest, and then it gets better from there!
[Read more →]
August 11th, 2014, by Jennie · Comments Off
SPORT. CrossFit is, without a doubt, a professional sport. There are competitions. Judges. Prizes. Sponsorship deals. Winners and losers. Spectators fill the stands showing support for their favorite athletes and to cheer their hearts out.
BEST. When I was watching the North Central Regional, it dawned on me that CrossFit isn't just a sport, it's the sport with the best spectators ever. EV-ER.
CHEER. Not only will spectators cheer for their favorite athlete, or the athlete in first place, they're also going to cheer for the guy in last place. The guy who could only complete one successful rep at a heavy weight. The guy who stands no possible chance of winning. And you know what else? CrossFit is the only sport where the guy in last place is going to get the loudest cheering.
STAND. During a particularly brutal workout at Regionals, the front squats were just too much for one of the male competitors. He only had 1 rep left, but he just couldn't stand it up. Over and over he tried to squat that barbell as the minutes ticked away. Everyone in his entire heat was finished and he was out there struggling. And then an amazing thing happened. Every other competitor in his heat came back out, flanked him on either side, and stood there with him. They could have been half way to a massage and an ice bath, but instead they were on the floor with their competition cheering and coaching him through. And every spectator was on their feet.
SUCCESS. And that rep, that last rep, was never caught on camera or video. The entire place was so loud with excitement for this competitor, that even the camera guy was cheering! One of our members turned to me and said, "Only in CrossFit would last place get the loudest cheers." (thank you Heather) And it's so true. Nobody was boo-ing. Nobody was feeling sorry for him. Instead the whole community stood with him in spirit and cheered him through his final rep.
YOU. And this camaraderie isn't just for the top athletes at competitions - it's for all of you. It's one of the things we have spent the last 6-1/2 years fostering and nurturing within our community. This special experience happens all around us every single day. And THAT......is what makes CrossFit so unique. THAT.....is why people come through our doors.
[Read more →]
July 15th, 2014, by Jennie · 3 Comments
This post was originally published in September of 2010, and again in March of 2012 but it is too good to keep hidden in the archives. Enjoy.
It just dawned on me that you might not hear often enough that you're beautiful. You are. You really, really are. When you look in the mirror I hope you see the same things I see. I see amazing people who are going against the "norm". I see people who are courageous and giving. I see people who are strong both mentally and physically, and THAT makes you beautiful to me.
Maybe the things I see as beautiful, aren't beautiful to other people. Maybe my definition of beauty doesn't conform with what you see on the cover of a magazine. Don't blame the magazines, it's not their fault. They don't realize that the pictures they're printing aren't always beautiful....they just haven't seen things my way yet. I'd love to see a women's magazine run an article on how to get visible hamstrings instead of their crap about "how to lose 14lbs in 14 days".
It's our responsibility to remind each other what REAL beauty is. It's our duty to ensure that our girls aren't striving to be "magazine beautiful". Real beauty isn't about being skinny. Real beauty isn't about a number on the scale, or about having a collar bone that could double as an M&M dish. Real beauty is CrossFit beauty. It's getting your first pull-up, doing your first WOD as prescribed, pulling a deadlift PR, cheering for someone else even though you want to collapse on the floor. It's accomplishing things you never thought possible, and building up enough self confidence to fill Soldier Field.
Real beauty is YOU GUYS and the things you do each and every day. Thank you for showing me how beautiful you are.
[Read more →]
Tags: CrossFit, CrossFit Fire, Lose Weight, strength training
July 8th, 2014, by Jennie · 1 Comment
My Barbell. Its cold steel and rough knurling are smooth, fast and fair. My barbell is my training partner. My barbell never tells me it’s having a bad day, it just isn’t feeling it, or that it has sore hamstrings and a tight lower back or that it drank too much last night. Without fail, my barbell is there every day in the gym waiting for me. Its whole purpose is dedicated to helping me succeed. When I succeed, my barbell succeeds. When I fail, my barbell fails.
My barbell is like math; it’s very black and white. Right or wrong. Lift or no lift. There is no middle ground with my barbell like English or Science. My barbell isn’t open to interpretation like a piece of Art. There is no barbell multiple choice, or essay answers. Lock it out, squat it below parallel, take if from the floor in one motion, look through at the top, stand it all the way up. My barbell can’t be cheated. I take comfort in that.
My barbell is smarter than I am. Before I know something went wrong, my barbell already knows. It knows if I pulled early, landed steady, drove through my heels, dipped forward, gave it too much knee bend or kept the bar close to my body. The system for telling me something went wrong is flawless: a failed rep.
Thank you, Barbell. Thank you for the time you put in at the gym with me. Thank you for the strength you give, the lessons you teach, and the consistency with which you help me train.
[Read more →]
July 3rd, 2014, by Jennie · Comments Off
OLD SCHOOL. It's too bad none of us were around in 1776 to experience what it was like. We'll never know what the original colonists went through and how horrible their lives became before declaring their independence. Nobody wants to be unfairly taxed, or executed without a trial....those seem like good reasons to break away. But do any of us really understand what being not-independent means?
RELATE. Since I don't know anyone 250 years old, Independence day seems so distant. I have a hard time relating any real feelings to the day. Sure, I love having the day off work and watching fireworks. I love the celebration. But I don't attach any feelings around my independence, because, well, I've only ever known independence.
SKILL. Independence isn't just something the colonists needed to escape England's treachery, it's something all of us need in our everyday lives. Being independent is a vital skill to reaching your own goals and taking control of your life. We all need to break free from our dependencies.
HAPPY. What's your dependency? What do you need to declare your independence from? Think about something in your life that is holding you back from reaching your goals and becoming truly happy. Is it food? Alcohol? Or maybe it's an over spending habit that's keeping you from reaching your retirement savings goal. Maybe just maybe, it's a Candy Crush addition that keeps you up late at night.
You get the idea.
NEW. So this Independence day, let's start a new tradition. We'll all choose something to break free from. We'll all find a cinder block in our lives that's dragging us to the bottom, and we'll cut it free. We'll blissfully float to the surface and breathe the fresh air of independence!
[Read more →]
July 1st, 2014, by Jennie · 5 Comments
WOW. I just opened up WordPress and it told me that I have made 2000 posts on this blog. Two thousand. I can't think of anything else in my life that I have made such a large contribution to other than this blog. The CrossFit Fire blog has been a part of my life since 2008, so it's kind of my baby. This picture was the very first image I posted to the blog, and I think it still represents our amazing Fort community.
SCARED. There's a small part of me that feels terrified about all those posts. I worry that my contribution to the internet isn't good enough. I flip back through old posts and wonder "are my words adding value to the internet?". If there's one thing the internet doesn't need, it's more useless words.
WORDS. I know they're just words on a computer screen, but I'd like to believe that somehow my words will have meaning. Will my words inspire? Will my posts reach out to someone when they need it most? Will my words resonate deeply with readers and draw them into our Fort Family? I sure hope so.
THANKS. So here it is, my 2,001st post on the Fire blog. And while I don't expect that anyone out there has read every post, I know there are people who have followed along since the beginning. With 25,000 unique visitors every month, I'd just like to say thank you to everyone for watching my baby grow and being a part of our Fort Family, even from a distance.
[Read more →]
June 24th, 2014, by Jennie · Comments Off
TIME! It's what you call out when your workout is over. Once you have completed everything on the whiteboard, you have the satisfaction of yelling out in celebration.
Is there any greater feeling in the world? While the rest of the world is taking naps and hitting up the drive thru on their way home from work, you're at the gym. You're busting your ass. You're taking all the necessary steps to living a healthier, longer, more fulfilled life. GOOD FOR YOU.
Make a mental list of all the things that CrossFit has changed about your life. The changes go far beyond your trip to the Fort each day. The changes will slowly trickle into your life at home and at work. Pretty soon you're starting to see huge improvements in not only how you look and feel physically, but mentally as well.
So next time you call out, TIME!, just remember that it's not just the end of your workout...it's the start of something amazing.
[Read more →]