Just enough? – There is no such thing.

sense-of-entitlement“The worst thing about success is a little bit” – Dani Johnson

I keep hearing these words in my head over and over. As I think about how this statement delivers meaning to me, I can’t help but also think about how I see it in others.

We are born into the world naturally having the ability to achieve things. Through this process, it is a law that we must also fail first. Learning how to crawl, walk and talk for instance is a basic idea of what that looks like. Luckily, we also had help along the way. We are gifted to have mentors who continue to help us up and hold our hands to get better at these now seemingly simple task. If we pronounced something wrong, it was reinforced the correct way. This has and will continue to be a constant truth for almost everything we ever become gifted at.

So what makes a little bit of success so bad? This is where it depends on us. If we see our past success and realize how much help we had to achieve it, show gratitude and humility to everyone who has given us the guidance we needed, and move forward with a servant heart to share with others…then not a lot.

However, sometimes it is possible to develop an attitude that portrays entitlement and an ultimate ego. The mentality that says look at what I have done, or I deserve the whole world to be handed to me, and this ignorance can consume us.

Sometimes a little bit of success can set us back and deliver us a negative attitude that draws few future opportunities to us. I really believe this is where people get stuck in the realm of development.

If we continue to want to see ourselves grow, learn new things, make improvements in our minds, bodies and spirits, as well as ultimately receive new/greater opportunities, we must recognize that although we have worked hard to earn what we now have and to become who we currently are, our past success was developed not through our own efforts but with the help of so many others along the way.

Zero to Hero

The title of this blog is not to say that this guy was a nobody when he started working out at Crossfit Central.  I met Caleb right at 1 year ago and I could tell that he had a lot going for himself.  He was new to Austin and by talking with him and seeing him live his life, it was obvious to me how talented and driven he was to do big things.

I love it when people come to our gym and immediately start to connect to the community.  Caleb pretty quickly became a go-to guy for us with his ability to produce good photography for our competitions, and he even made himself present as somebody who was a part of our crew in social events.

Seeing him show up to class consistently was one thing, but when I saw him posting on Facebook about working out on his days off it showed me how serious he really was about his fitness and physical transformation.  I honestly had forgotten what he looked like when he started until I saw his before picture.

I love seeing stories like Caleb’s come to the surface because of how rapid that success was from him starting with so many physical limitations to where he is now almost at the top of his class when it comes to crushing every workout.  I think people have more in them than they realize.  Caleb is a prime example of somebody who did something that anybody could do if they chose to do it!

Caleb’s Story

I started CrossFit in August 2013 – just hit my 1 year! When I joined, I went right into Mike’s 7am MWF class, never having done CrossFit before.

I chose CrossFit Central because a friend I worked with at the Apple Store (Gerry Bermudez) was an athlete there, and he had spoken highly of it. I did some research and saw that CC seemed to have a great community and really put the extra effort into having a great place for the athletes, not just an open space with some weights for people to throw around.

Caleb1yearI was with Mike from August 2013 through June 2014, before I joined the Advanced Athlete program at CrossFit Central. I have now been in Jessica Estrada’s 5:30am MWThF class since July 2014.

Training with Mike has been great – he’s always supportive and encouraging, without being either soft or over-the-top aggressive. It made for a great environment to push myself and get better and have the support behind me for it. CrossFitting has taught me to be a morning person. It’s taught me that consistency and sticking to a plan will get you where you want to go, or at least get you in the right direction. Being around a lot of CrossFitters is an awesome experience; it’s a bunch of people who are dedicated hard workers, not just in their training but across their lives.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am more organized now and better at making plans and sticking to them. Maybe part of it is that taking the time out of my week to work out leaves me less time to accomplish the other things I have to do, so I’ve been forced to get my act together. I also feel better, obviously. Stronger, healthier, more energy – I feel like taking on new challenges is exciting rather than scary.

When I started CrossFit I was 25, 212lbs, and ate a pretty middle-of-the-road diet. I avoided fast food most of the time and sometimes made salads for dinner. I didn’t bother going out of my way to eat very well though. Now I am down to 182 lbs, and it’s much easier for me to make healthy choices, like not staying out late or eating good food. If I’m getting up to work out the next morning, I’m not going out on a Tuesday night for happy hour. It’s become habit to choose the healthier options when I’m out, rather than having to force myself to give up the yummy unhealthy foods. I love broccoli!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow at 26,  I want to be as healthy as I can for the rest of my life. I know that starting off on the right foot in my 20’s is going to make sure that I’m still skiing and biking and CrossFitting into my 70s and beyond. I’m a photographer, and I love doing on-location shoots that inevitably involve a lot of gear. I want to hike up mountains to get the perfect shot. Being physically fit is a requirement for the kind of work I want to be doing now and in the future. In the gym, I’ve lost a good amount of weight, but it’s been mostly fat. I’m trying to focus on building muscle/strength now and continuing to eat well. I’m often photographing competitions for CrossFit Central which keeps me from competing, but I would like to do one soon!

What You Do Is Who You Are

Rarely do I have the desire to take the time to post a success story on somebody I either do not know or have never trained myself.

Josh’s story was one I thought could be different.  About 6 weeks ago, CrossFit Central made a switch in our programs to offer our Advanced Athlete classes in the early mornings at our downtown gym. With that switch, several athletes that I coached switched over to the new program and many others who were not in my class moved from Jessica Estrada’s Co-ed program over to mine.

After I met Josh for our first one-on-one assessment, he shared with me a bit about his military experience and the fact that he had lost about 50 lbs over the past year by using CrossFit as a fitness program.

What I have noticed about Josh is plain and simple…he is motivated to do the right things for the right reasons based around his belief  system.

I am excited for his success to this point and looking forward to see where he goes from here!

Josh’s Story

I started CrossFitting sometime in the first quarter of 2013 — I believe March or April of last year. I came to CrossFit Central because of its good reputation overall and friendly atmosphere. You get some places that seem to overdo it on the phony bravado. I’ve never seen that at Central. I have had the good fortune to benefit from the tutelage of Jessica Estrada, Lucy Shellito, and now Michael Gregory.

FatWhen I started at Central I was 37 years old, 230lbs, ate fast food at least once and frequently twice a day. Lots of sugar in my coffee, and I burned through maybe two or three pots during the workday. I forget the exact percentages from my most recent body comp, but I’m somewhere in the “normal human male” range now.

People get fat and weak for a lot of different reasons, not all of which are under their control. A lot of people have good excuses for it. But in my case, I did not: the reality was that I was just lazy and ate too much Tex-Mex. The big result I’ve seen in the past 14-16 months is not really physical, though that’s been tremendous — I started at about 230lbs, and am now in the 185lbs-190lbs range — but mental. A commitment to CrossFit for a guy like me is not so much about physical improvement as it is about internalizing self-discipline. When that alarm sounds at 4:30am, I know I have two choices: I can be the guy who sacks in for another couple of hours and then enjoys three or four donuts, kolaches, or tacos — in other words, the guy I’ve been most of my life — or I can be the guy who gets up, gets humbled and spent at the WOD, and begins the day with more exertion and effort than most people clock in all week.

photo-81There are two things in this that bear emphasis. The first is that word humbled, versus humiliated. There’s a difference. Humiliation is negative, destructive, and usually the result of one’s own poor attitude. Humbling, on the other hand, is positive, and stems largely from an understanding that pain and difficulty are schools for your own betterment — if you decide to accept them as such. Being humbled means that when your limitations are made plain to you and to others — and there’s no hiding it when I’m struggling to complete a WOD that others are apparently handling with alacrity — you draw fortitude and inspiration from that, rather than succumb to defeat and despair. The consequent resolve to press on is not really about a desire to improve as such: it is in fact the heightening and sharpening of the plain will to live.

The second thing is that the instilling of internal self-discipline is the first and inescapable step toward self-governance as Texans and Americans have traditionally understood it. I won’t get political here, but suffice it to say that once upon a time, this country was built by men and women who woke up in the mornings and said to themselves, “I’m going to make a home in a wilderness where it is unsafe, uncertain, and unrestful.”  Their children and grandchildren ventured abroad in that same spirit. It was the possession of that spirit — of that ability to self-govern even in stress and tumult — that made democracy possible. A self-governing society is an emergent property of self-governing individuals. I’m not saying CrossFit is the only way to get people like that. I’m saying it has helped me be a person like that.

CrossFit has reminded me of things I ignored: not least that it is far better for the soul and character to be a small man among giants than a giant among small men. Though I have benefitted greatly from CrossFit, I am nevertheless, after barely a year, still a below-average performer at pretty much every WOD in my own view. But as Browning wrote, “[A] man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”

Since starting CrossFit, my days outside of the gym are more structured and less haphazard. My goal right now is to keep up and start posting competitive times and weights with my classmates. I’m not there yet. On the other hand, it’s within sight. A year ago, I could do maybe ten pushups. Now I could pass an Army Physical Fitness Test — not smashingly, but a definite pass. That’s a huge change. My motivation comes from the realization that the choice to act, or not to act, is definitional. What you do is who you are.

Here comes the Heat, whatcha gonna do about it?

I am not gonna lie…I love this time of the year in this part of the country. The Texas heat has always been something very near and dear to my heart. I have lived in Texas since I was about 2 years old. I don’t really remember life before then. The summer is Awesome and I hope you agree!

Glenns_1287bc_1080881One thing I know about this time of year is that people will either embrace it or whine about it. Don’t be the person trying to figure out how to avoid the heat.

I will only say this once…don’t allow the heat to stand between you and your fitness. This is actually the time of the year when you should be in the best shape possible. Your body temperature is already higher than normal and therefore you are able to burn more calories easier throughout the day. Take advantage of it. If you ever had an easy chance to get lean…now is the time. If you aren’t sure how to talk yourself into this…act as if you don’t have a choice.

Mental toughness is built upon every single day. Physical toughness is developed through doing things that maybe you don’t always feel like you want to do. Whatever negative thoughts we have about doing something is obviously a very natural emotion, but failing to do it anyway is where we fall short. Showing up anyway is the only way to have a chance to become better. This is true even if you feel like it wasn’t your best day.

They say if you can train in the heat, you can train in any climate. I think that if you can make your brain tell your body to move…you have definitely figured out what it means to be fit.

 

Motivation… Do you have it?

About 2 1/2 weeks ago I was having a conversation with Jeremy Thiel about Flipping the switch.
From Time to time we all have to check back in and see where we are, how do we feel about it and how to get your mind back into the right mind set to do something that maybe used to be so natural.

It is wild what all can come out of a conversation like that.

Take this for instance… for the both of us, we love to wake up and start listening to Rap/Hip Hop Music. We are from a generation were some of the most vulgar music can motivate us to make big things happen.

I know for myself… if anything that gets me going is missing on a given day, I will probably not be 100%

Yesterday was my first day back to work after knee surgery last Thursday. It was a solid day for me because from the time I woke up at 4:30 till the time I got back home at 8 pm, I got a lot accomplished. I actually stayed up on my computer till about 10pm reading and sharing on Social Media out of shear positivity.

Today, I was driving around in my Truck after a morning of meetings and computer task (both of which I was not on fire about) thinking about how much I just wanted to feel like I was making something happen and having fun with it. All I wanted was to feel excited about what I was doing. I couldn’t shake the word Motivation from my head. Almost immediately the TI song from above came through my speakers from the radio.

Here is what it all boils down to… If I want to feel like I am getting something done… I need to be out doing something. That simple. I know that we are more capable to do more than sometimes we are willing to push ourselves to do. I have experienced that myself and all I know from it is dissatisfaction.

This blog has do with nothing more than me rambling about some thoughts so please don’t tell me if you don’t like it.

Crush Life!

Ups and Downs are Temporary

But what you do is always right now.

joypainLife is Good! Life is Great! Life Sucks!

As some years have gone by for me (currently 32) I have continued to be reminded of the Law of Abundance. This states that we are capable of designing our life 100% and that everything we ever want and desire is obtainable simply by thinking and acting as if we already have it!

This is true for all things!
The type of Job we want.
The relationships we desire.
The money we want to earn.
The homes, cars, boats, clothes or jewelry we love to have.
The influence we aspire to.

If you can Dream it You can See it… If you can See it you can Have it.

I have believed in the Law of Abundance for many years now. I have put the practice to good use many times and enjoyed countless rewards because of it. The thing is, though, the fulfillment from it all hasn’t always lasted like I thought it would. I have even lost or given up much of it through frustrating or challenging times!

This makes be think…how can I be so blessed and at times feel like life is a living hell all at the same time?

Crazy right?

pain-pleasureThrough soul searching and desiring more though, I feel like I better understand God’s Plan. We are young creatures who are to be given much and challenged even more. Through the experience of pleasure and pain we develop an unbelievable wisdom that we are able to share with others around us who need a message. If we had no hardships, we would have no growth and therefore would have nothing to offer the world in which we live.

I believe life needs hardships or extreme challenges.

Fire Burns. Tearing the skin off your hands sucks. Pushing your body past fatigue and failing reps is a horrible experience. The body always comes back stronger…Always!

So how about embracing the suck fest when the cold wind blows and know that it is all a necessary piece to the bigger picture of life.

Quitting is not an option…Quitting is for quitters! So get back up. Show back up. The time to go is right now!

Acquaintance, Client and Friend

I love to highlight hard work.

People who are willing to do things others are not willing to do is always easy to recognize. All I know is that when I see it…I at the very least make sure to tell those people how great they are doing. These individuals will never get enough credit from anybody else to keep them motivated to continue to do what they do, so the only thing that really makes them stay on track is their internal drive to be better than they were yesterday.

Erin is somebody who exemplifies this quality as good as anybody else. This lady absolutely gets it done when it comes to living live full tilt. I remember meeting her for the first time 3 years ago while she was getting her business (Blenders and Bowls) started in an Air Stream Truck parked in the parking lot of the Rowing Dock off of Lake Austin one summer day. She and her business partner were hard at work making Acai Bowls. Since then she has grown that company to a business that now occupies a physical location in downtown Austin (4th and Brazos) and employs about 10 employees.  She is on the verge of a 2nd location in North Austin.

While doing that, she has also for the past 6 months been transforming her body and training it to do things that she has never been able to do before. I have seen her show up before her classmates and stay after to work on her things like pull-ups, weighted sit-ups and handstand pushups all for the sake of meeting some major goals she has set for herself.

Erin is an all around doer…who does everything she does with an awesome attitude.

Erin’s Story

Erin1

I started CrossFit at the beginning of this year, on January 4th.  I got a six-month membership to CrossFit Central for Christmas and it was the greatest gift! I had met Mike at the café [Blenders and Bowls] and chatted with him about my goals and decided he would be the best to help me attain them.  My brother used to do CrossFit and recommended that I train with Coach Mike.

Physically my body has changed a lot since January.  I was on Coach Mike’s team for the I AM CROSSFIT challenge and I lost 8% body fat. I also shaved 3:30 minutes off my benchmark workout. Doing that challenge was the best decision I have made. It was so fun and a great experience – and I was a success story! Mentally I am sharper as well.  I am a very competitive person by nature and since joining CrossFit I feel more myself and in my element. I love the community aspect of challenges and overall trying something I’ve never done.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the community that I have met at CrossFit Central. It’s such a solid group of people pushing one another to the next level.  I have realized a lot about myself in that I am very competitive but I also love watching others succeed.  Being physically active is something everyone should be doing daily whatever the workout may be.  It’s a lifestyle and if you choose it everything else seems to fall in place.

After doing the I AM CROSSFIT challenge I had a revelation about taking care of myself first and foremost; work, family, relationships, social life…it all comes second.  I had to take a step back and focus on what I needed physically and mentally in order to tackle all the other aspects of my life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I love about CrossFit is seeing the benchmark workouts and how much I have improved.  When I can’t do something it motivates me to get it.  I am always challenging myself physically and it keeps me motivated. I am 26 and when I started CrossFit this January I weighed 148 pounds but had low energy even though I ate healthy. I wasn’t focused on my body before CrossFit. I didn’t really think about what I put into it even though I eat healthy. Now – six months later – I have had crazy results in inches and body fat loss and muscle gained.  I weigh 140 pounds and have lost 8.7% body fat and 10 inches.

I started using AdvoCare during the I AM CROSSFIT challenge and loved the MNS system.  I just did the 24 Day Challenge and saw a huge shift in energy levels.  Spark is my best friend! I have been using Catalyst and I would say I have the best results from it.  It trims me up so fast.

ErinHalfMarathonMy goals now are to keep lowering my body fat and lean up. I have always been super dense and muscular having played soccer my whole life but I know I can tone up more.  After doing the I AM CROSSFIT challenge I couldn’t go anywhere without someone commenting on how fit I looked.  Everyone noticed I was leaning up.  My family says this is the best they have ever seen me.  I am more fit in all other aspects of my physical life. I ran my first 1/2 marathon and didn’t even train for it. I was just confident in my abilities because of all the CrossFit I was doing.  I ran the 1/2 marathon in 2:08, which is pretty damn good for not training.

How do you feel right now?

If it ain’t fun…it ain’t worth doing.

This has been on my mind a lot lately. Through the process of reflection I am remembering times of my life that I had more fun doing whatever it was that I was up to. I also remember times when people around me were having more fun doing what they were up to.

What happens when that which used to be fun becomes routine or boring or even annoying?

I guess there are a few options:
1) Quit.
2) Keep doing it the same way and feeling dissatisfied.
3) Change your mindset and create a sense of newness and excitement around it.

Let’s think about this…If this is something you truly once really enjoyed and got a lot of pleasure out of…then is really something you want to quit doing? I doubt it!

If nothing changes, though, and you maintain a feeling of monotony towards it, then it probably isn’t going to ever bring you a renewed sense of satisfaction either.

So what would be the solution?

How about changing your mindset! Tony Robbins calls this “Changing Your State.”
I bet you anything…as people, we get the best of ourselves more often than not because of the patterns in which we think.

I believe Tony is right when he says that if we ask a better question, we will get a better answer. The end result is the best life possible.

The time for that is now. #GameOn #LetsGo

The Man with the BBQ. Wait… Who?

20140528_131707I am sure it doesn’t surprise everybody,  but sometimes my ability to procrastinate is astounding!    I know, i know…  yes I really just put myself on blast.

Really though,  this blog is almost a whole month late and I am irritated with myself about it!  The worst part about it is that I kept giving myself an excuse for why it wasn’t posted yet.   Even worse than that was how bad my excuse was.

Every Client of the month post, I write an intro to share my thoughts and even some feelings about the person whom I am highlighting and with this one in particular I didn’t know what to say.   I didn’t really know Mike or anything really about him.   How did this happen?   How do I know nothing about a guy who I have been training for over a year and who has also been in the Crossfit Central community for 5 years now?   Wow!

So the truth is I am not always the best coach!    Relationships are the most important part of my job and this guy and I had never much spoke about anything.  #FAIL

I knew I had to sit down with him!   Who is this guy who I train once a week at 5:30 am, does additional private training with Nyki Helmcamp to work on strength,  who has been coached by 5 or more head coaches in our gym and who finished in the top 50 athletes in the 60+ year old age group in this years Crossfit Games Open Online competition?

What better way to find out than to go eat some BBQ together.   Here is the kind of guy Mike is.

Me: Hey Mike, I would like to meet with you to discuss what I am going to write about in this blog.

Mike:  Great  How bout lunch?
Me: Perfect.  Where do you want to go?
Mike:  How bout Iron Works or Moonshine (Both 1 minute away from the gym)
Me: Lets do BBQ
Mike:  Sounds Great… I am buying!

So after an hour of hanging out here is what I like about this guy.
Lifelong Tezan
30+ years in austin (UT Grad)
Married almost the same amount of time
5:30 Workout Guy
Loves Crossfit Central

This guy has all the Values I appreciate in a Man.
Competitive, Humble, Motivated, Loyal, and Giving

Mike’s Story

I started CrossFitting in August 2009 and started with Big Mike at the time Crossfit Downtown opened last year because I was looking for a 5:30 class time. Even though I have only trained with Mike for about a year, I have known him for most of the 5 years of CrossFitting. Getting to know him better in his class and reading his blogs has led me to appreciate him even more. Mike is striving to grow himself and his athletes with dedication to improvement in the physical, mental and relationship aspects of living.

I was 55 when I started with CrossFit Central and weighed around 185 with a body comp of about 22% body fat. I jogged occasionally and my diet was SAD (standard American diet) of poor quality food, processed foods, diet cokes and lots of nutrient poor carbohydrates. I have eaten Paleo for more than 4 1/2 years now and primarily with a low/moderate carb intake. My meals are unweighed and unmeasured, just full of quality proteins, fats, and veggies. I am not on any meds and have gone from a medium dose to low dose to no dose of cholesterol med (Lipitor). My latest body comp was weight of about 162 and about 11% body fat. In addition to these health changes, CrossFit has given me more energy outside the gym and the knowledge that there is a little more in the gas tank if I dig for it.

My overall physical goal is to be “Younger Next Year.” Functional fitness is the key. Most of my weaknesses as an athlete are the result of shoulder and hip mobility (other than stringing double unders together). I am dedicated to doing more foam rolling and mobility work over the next year.

I always enjoy the challenges and competitions.  Since starting CrossFit, I have done I AM CROSSFIT five times, The Fittest Games once, Project Mayhem once, Lean Turkey twice, Spartan 300 once, and the CrossFit Games Open three times. I like the accountability of the challenges. It keeps me motivated to do extra workouts and clean up my diet. The IAM is in particular a very good “jump start” for the year after the feasting time of the holidays. The youth and vitality of the team challenges is great. Trying to keep up with folks half my age is a wonderful motivating factor. I think being around the energy, the sense of community and the “youthful perspective” of my young friends is very helpful in my personal and business life.

A woman on Fire

Chris G has never been somebody I have personally highlighted as the client of the month. She has however earned multiple recognitions as a Crossfit Central success story over the past 3 years.  She has continued to be an inspiration throughout the entire time she has been a client to many of her friends, family and 2 sons.  

This story of her success is specifically to honor her achievements as a Crossfit Competitor. She is  a perfect person to highlight  in this light because 5 years ago she had never touched a weight or played any athletic sport in her entire life.  At 45 years old she was a person who had no real understanding toward using her body in athletic or physically demand ways .  

At 50 years old, I am blown away by how different of a person she now has become from the first day she showed up at Crossfit Central.

Out of  the Hundreds of classes and private sessions I have coached Chris through, her toughest lesson has been learning to be patient. My hardest Lesson has to have been letting her try to progress as fast as she really wants to.  1 thing I can tell you about an athlete like Chris is that NO obstacle will stand between her and her goals. Given all the limitations she has worked though she has continued to have to find a balance between training smart and going full speed ahead.  The lessons we’ve both learned are well beyond what we can count. But you know what… we are still here and she is now legitimately and contender in her division of the Crossfit Games.  This is only the beginning for her!

 

Chris’ Story

Advanced Athlete Class

Advanced Athlete Class (photo by Rabah Rahil)

This May will be the 4th year I have trained with Big Mike and when I look at where I started and where I am now I am amazed – and grateful that I found CrossFit when I did. I started in a boot camp with Jeremy Thiel in the Fall of 2007 – a 43 year old mom, not terribly active, with no real athletic experience or skill. I was looking for something to help me feel better about myself at a low spot in my life. What I found was not just a workout regime, but a community which has nurtured and challenged and embraced me – and has given me a completely different way of looking at myself.

I had been taking a Kettlebell class at CC Burnet with Chris Hartwell for a year, watching Big Mike’s noon Co-Ed class that whole time, with my thoughts running from “Yeah…there’s no way I can do that” to finally “I want to do that!” With some strong encouragement from a couple of friends already in the noon class, I finally made the jump on May 17th, 2010 – my first WOD in Mike’s class was a 20 min AMRAP of 100m row, 10 box jumps, 15 push ups. I had just started having the courage to jump on a 20” box and I’m pretty sure I was still doing push-ups from my knees most of the time.

2009 vs. 2014 (photo on right by Rabah Rahil)

2009 vs. 2014 (photo on right by Rabah Rahil)

I wanted to join Mike’s class because I had seen over the course of that year of watching what a skilled and dedicated coach he was with his clients, how he encouraged people to face fears and limits and push past them, and how much fun everyone seemed to have while they were getting their asses kicked! I have gotten all that and more in the 4 years I’ve had the privilege of training with him, both in class and as a long-time personal training client. I’ve learned a ton about CrossFit from Mike but even more about myself as a person – how most if not all of our limitations are self-imposed, what it feels like to face a fear and overcome it, how to fail and shake it off and get back to the work that’s in front of you, and – the biggest gift of all for me – how very much I am capable of and how I much more is possible for me (not simply with CrossFit but in my life as a whole, where it really matters).

The Fittest Games 2014 (photo by Caleb Kerr)

As I’ve taken up competing for the first time in my life, Mike has helped me shift my mindset to thinking like an athlete, including not only what I do in the gym but even more importantly how I recover, minimize injuries and handle the mental side of competition. With his help I’ve found the right way for me to eat to fuel the training I want to do. He’s helped me augment my nutrition with consistent supplementation that I have found to be critical to recovering well, maintaining energy, managing the impact on my joints, staying lean, and building strength and muscle mass (I’ve added 10 pounds of muscle since I started training with him – no small feat for a women entering her 5th decade of life!).

As load and intensity of my training increased with my shift to the Advanced Athlete class in June 2013, I’ve had to increase my out-of-gym recovery and soft tissue work a lot – rolling out, mobilizing and stretching, getting massages whenever I can, and more recently working with someone to correct some long-standing functional deficiencies in my hips and shoulders that have plagued me since I started CrossFit.

The Fittest Games 2014 (photo by Caleb Kerr)

The Fittest Games 2014 (photo by Caleb Kerr)

All of these things came together with the phenomenal training I’ve gotten since June in the Advanced Athlete program to give me the best performance I’ve ever had in The Fittest Games this January (2nd place in the 50+ masters division) and in the recently completed CrossFit Games Open (234th in the world, 17th in the South Central region in the 50-54 year old Women’s Masters division). I plan on being in the Top 200 in my division in next year’s Open!

I am ever grateful that I have the opportunity to spend my noon hour 4 times a week at CrossFit Central Downtown with best group of training partners I could ever hope for. Relentlessly supportive and positive, this crew is my team and my family and are a huge reason I keep coming back for more!

My goals now? Giving my body a chance to recover from the Open, which definitely took its toll on me, and then getting back to my continuous quest to improve my Olympic lifting and gymnastic skills. And a muscle up – definitely a muscle up very, very soon!