If you saw me, runner would not be a word most people would use to describe me. Until a few months back I would laugh at such a description. I’ve always joked I was born without the fitness gene (the direction one too, but I digress) However, I always believed in setting a good example for my children so, thanks to a Groupon, last October I decided to join Crossfit Sun . I figured I would show up an hour a day, do my time, not particularly enjoy it but be able to check off that exercise box. At the same time I joined, a friend was setting up a Ragnar team and asked me to be part of their team. For those of you not familiar with Ragnar, it’s roughly a 200 mile relay race run by teams with up to 12 members. I laughed at the idea. Although I had run a few 5ks and even a half marathon a few years back, I wasn’t an athlete and could never compete in such an event.
Fast forward a few months and something crazy happened. The Crossfit Sun mentality of “fun and easy” got into my head. All of a sudden I didn’t dread exercise, I actually really enjoyed coming to class and pushing myself. By no means had I become a star athlete, I can do one double under and pull ups seems like a long distant pipe dream. However, my whole outlook changed. By pushing myself each day, I realized that my biggest obstacle was in my head. Whenever I had run in the past, I had always been disappointed in myself because no matter how many miles I had achieved I was always despondent about my time. If you imagine a turtle running through peanut butter you get an idea of my speed. Slowly I began to realize that just showing up and trying your hardest was the biggest accomplishment of all. When you have a class of great athletes cheering you on to finally get that ONE double under you can’t but help feel proud of yourself.
In February, my friends Ragnar team lost a member and again she asked me to join. This time I realized that although I may not be the fastest, I knew I had he resolve to push myself to finish anything. Coupled with the endurance that I had built over 6 months of Crossfit, I was excited to join the team.
The running itself was not too hard, my three legs were just under 15 miles but, the lack of sleep was brutal. Our team took 36 hours, that’s two days of no sleep and eating just power bars and bananas (no paleo stickers during those two days). My last run was supposed to be the easiest. A flat, easy 4 miles. However, I began to struggle before I even hit a mile. Right away my old frustrations reared their ugly head. How on earth could I be struggling when a one legged dog on tranquilizers could lap me. Just as fast, “fun and easy” sprung up. I knew after multiple months of pushing that sled with 10 tonnes of weight I could easily run 4 miles no matter how tired I was. Instead of beating myself up on my time, I decided to enjoy the run and actually finished my leg at a faster pace than normal. I cannot say enough great things about a Ragnar race. You don’t need to be a fast or even a great runner to join one. If you think about the team camaraderie during the Crossfit games and multiply it by 7000 you get an idea of the atmosphere. Random strangers cheering each other on, all sharing the same experience of no sleep for two days but the pride and accomplishment in finishing the race whilst raising money for a great charity. The next race is in Napa Valley, I encourage those of you reading this to consider it.
by Eric “E-Rock” Sanchez – CFS community member for life
Didn’t want to CrossFit, had no desire to eat Paleo, was perfectly content with doing my bi-weekly Wii Fit with a beer in hand. Where was I going with that attitude? … Nowhere…. Fast.
A little over 2 years ago I joined CrossFit Sun reluctantly and I’m not going to lie, I didn’t immediately “get it”. I looked at most of the members back then, The Freddy’s, The Tino’s, The Art’s and was like, “Ha, these guys are all athletic already, no wonder they can lift a thousand pounds and twirl their little jumpy ropes around themselves a million times”. It wasn’t until I moved back into the area and “willingly” came back to CFS that I started to understand, that while these guys may have been athletes before, it was CrossFit that was allowing them to maintain their athletic lifestyle. A few months in and I was full blown addicted to finding who I could become as an athlete myself. Just writing that makes me chuckle, because the former me never ever ever would have considered myself an athlete or anything close to it.
Then I start hearing whispers about the CrossFit Games… who is this Julie Foo-shay? And what the hell is a Froner and why do girls have them? Fast forward a little bit and I know pretty much all of the CrossFit athletes and I am pumped for my first CrossFit Games Open! Oh, yeah, I’ve got my double unders down, kipping pull-ups.. check! Still hate wall balls but oh well, I can manage. All is good in the hood until 13.4 drops… Clean & Jerks… 135# … Shit… Zero reps. Yeah I was bummed. But then I thought to myself, “what was I was doing a year earlier?” I sure as hell wasn’t lifting any kind of weight over my head, hadn’t run anything over a mile since middle school, thought jump ropes were only for 5th grade double-dutchers. It had been so long since I tried something outside of my comfort zone, and dammit it felt good! I didn’t achieve my goal that particular afternoon, but you know what? I was still an athlete. I gave it every ounce of effort I could muster in those 7 minutes to try and clean that weight and get it over my head and by doing so I shared a common bond with all the other members of CFS, with Rich Froning, Khalipa, Camille, and the other 100+ thousand athletes competing in the open. The former me, the pre-Crossfit Sun me would have said, “Eff it, I can’t do that, lets watch tv and eat Cheetos”.
Bottom line is that CrossFit not only has helped me find my inner athlete but also given me a complete attitude adjustment. I’m okay with not being able to lift a certain weight or having a lower score than someone because it motivates me to get better. And that has a direct transfer into every aspect of my life. I strive to be a better friend, a better boyfriend, a better co-worker a better lifting buddy.
Now for my Cool Down… I just want to say thank you to all of the coaches, all of the members of the various classes I’ve attended ( I think I’ve frequented 7am, 8am, 9am, 5pm, 6pm, & 7pm over the course of these 2 years) and especially to Mark & Andrea Sun for being the parents to the their third child that is CrossFit Sun. More than you could possibly know you have helped me through tough times and led me on a path that I know will forever follow. While I may be moving on to another box I’ll always consider CrossFit Sun my home.
by Melinda Pogue
In January of 2013, after a year of working out at CrossFit Sun, I got super brave and signed up for the Fun & Easy Charity Competition. It was the hardest, most exhilarating thing I have ever done and afterwards I was so pumped that I went home and started telling my husband that I was going to sign up for the Open! And start running again! And start going to the weightlifting sessions! I had come so far from the first day I had walked into CFS, and I was in better shape than I had ever been in my entire life. I felt ready to take on the world.
Two days later, I broke my toe so badly half my right foot turned purple and I could barely walk. But I showed up in my orthopedic shoe and tried to keep working out.
A month later I fell down the stairs and sprained my left ankle badly enough that I spent the next three months wishing I had just broken it instead.
After that one of my best friends spent 40 days in the hospital. Then a death in the family. Then a couple months trying to get my newly diagnosed asthma under control.
Through it all, I kept showing up to CFS and doing what I could, but not nearly as often as I used to. But somewhere along the way, with all of the other stuff going on and all of the pain and health issues and not being able to work as hard as I thought I should, things stopped being fun OR easy for me. I saw all these new people coming in and doing WODs Rx, faster and better than me, and I just kept beating myself up for not being as awesome as I was in January. Every time I showed up for class, I had a ball of dread in the pit of my stomach….”How badly will I suck today?” I would wonder. And I would drag myself through the workout and try to find at least a few things to smile at.
Things finally came to a head one day when we were doing an endurance WOD….run a mile, row 2K, and something else I seem to have blocked from my memory. All I do remember is gasping for air about halfway through that mile and thinking about the half marathon I did in 2012, and how I used to be able to run a mile with no problems, and how much I sucked. And that turned into a loop telling me that I was terrible at running and couldn’t do double-unders and my snatch is sloppy and I will never be able to do a damn pull up and OMG I AM THE WORST CROSSFITTER EVER.
And then I cried. Seriously, I cried and snuffled and choked back my anger for the second half of that mile. And then I got on the rower and wiped tears away for the whole 2K. And then I left the box, determined to never come back because I sucked and it wasn’t fun anymore.
Really, the truth was my mentality wasn’t fun anymore.
I spent most of December laying low and recovering from the rest of the year and then I realized that oh, I missed being in the box and laughing with my classmates and actually having a good time but I just couldn’t get past the thought that I should be better than I am. And then the words that DJ uses ever so often sprang into my head….You Do You. That’s what I need to do. I need to just do what works for me. What I don’t need is to compare myself to ANYONE else in the box, not even the me from January 2013, because it’s not fair to hold myself to some random standard of my own making. No one is going to come back from two major injuries and a bunch of other health issues and be just like they were before. No one is going to take months off from training regularly and be as good as they ever were, so why should I expect myself to be as good as I used to be?
The good news is that CFS welcomed me back to regular workouts with open arms. The best news is that it’s FUN AGAIN! Every day I look at the work out and figure out what works for me and I tell myself “You do you” and suddenly I don’t care if I am the slowest or lifting the lightest or have the most bands for my pull ups. Because I’m there, and I’m working and I’m having fun with my friends….and I’m doing my thing.
So especially now, in the midst of the Open and the spirit of competition that is everywhere, don’t forget to do what’s best for you, whatever that may be. Stop telling yourself you need to beat this score or that person or that you’re not as good as you should be. You’re here. You Do You.
by Sarah Beckman
I’m taking on this blog post as a mini-challenge (which is not unlike every time I show up at the box…). Word on the street is that CrossFit Sun has been inspiring its members, embracing their flaws, encouraging their efforts! Sign up for the CrossFit Open! You’ll be doing the workouts anyway! Newbies are cool too! What? You can’t link a double under? No worries! We’ll help you. Because we love you! Free hugs!
And trust me, I love the love. I’m a CrossFit freshman—still in my first year of the workouts, and I feel lucky to have landed with the CFS family. We’re all about COMMUNITY. XOXO, now let’s get down to business. In addition to Community, COMPETITION is intrinsic to CrossFit. Social comparison theory suggests that we are compelled to drive upward. Competing against ourselves and others motivates us to lift more, run faster, and push harder. The competition is part of the excitement and satisfaction that keeps us coming back. Day. After. Day. So hurrah for the CrossFit Games for establishing a completely open platform that not only allows frosh athletes to mix it up with the pros, but through the community encourages teamwork and individual initiative.
5. You Get Your Very Own cheerleader Judge. Too tired to count your reps? Need a little push? When you sign up for the Open, your WOD must be verified by a Judge. And because I’m super lazy and challenged by mathematics at 6 AM this was a biggie.
4. YOU WILL BE HUMBLED. Just a reminder—you will likely not rock every WOD. Just sayin. And knowing that you stink at certain movements is a great reminder that there is always room for improvement. This applies to everything in life. Accept it with grace, move on.
3. YOU WILL BE REDEEMED. Nope, we can’t hit every WOD at the top. I hit ONE rep on 14.2 and it was frustrating for sure. But when you see the one that you know is your jam—OWN IT. I came back on 14.3 and totally crushed it. Redemption!! In trying to describe these diametrically opposite experiences to a couple of girlfriends, I finally burst out, “Strength is not my weakness!” (and T-Shirts will be coming soon…)
2. YOU MAY PR ON A NATURAL HIGH. I’ve run on and off for years, and done a number of races. Nothing pumps up the adrenaline more than knowing you are ON THE CLOCK. Your heart may burst through your chest, but that feeling of being tracked and timed (and recorded for the world to see) boosts your performance. Increased oxygen with a side effect of sweat? I’m in.
1.IT’S FOR FUN. Bottom line, with more than 200,000 participants in this year’s Open, you may not be a shoe in for Regionals. And that’s cool. It’s about having fun, celebrating your successes, cheering on your buddies, and being part of something much, much bigger than you.
True confession—it took a lot of pushing to get me to sign up for the Open. At the time, my only reason for saying yes, was that I didn’t have a good enough reason to say no. Let the games begin!
by Evelyne Vu-Tien
I had no idea what I was getting myself in to when Coach Dan said, “Evelyne, you have to sign up. It’s no big deal, just ‘Fun and Easy’ Just a different way to see how you are doing in the Crossfit World”
So I thought, okay, no big deal. Then when it dawned on me that this was an international ‘competition’ I started to freak out. Self doubt filled my head and I was worried that my mediocre scores would count against the group and that my weaknesses would be published for all to see. I had only been doing CrossFit for about 9 or 10 months and wanted in no way to be compared to the veteran athletes on the Leaderboard. I was that person in the back of the class so no one notices me or calls me out on my clumsiness. I got butterflies in my stomach before the first announcement of 14.1. I felt even worse knowing it was double unders. Double unders? My shins show proof of my skills at double unders. Maybe I had achieved one or two linked at most.
Then, something changed. People started believing in me, pushing me, encouraging me that I could do it. When the timer counted down for 14.1, 14.2, or 14.3 there was no more thinking and just doing. All myself doubt flew out the window and I knew I only had myself to compete against. I was able to link 4 double unders on 14.1. On 14.2 I had never done one chest to bar. I was able to complete 3. Before, I was always grabbing the medium (and sometimes skinny) black band. With 14.3 I achieved a PR 11 times above my one rep max for a deadlift.
There is something about knowing you are accountable and have to report your score that will make you push yourself harder. Sometimes we are incapable of seeing our own potential whereas others already have.
I still stay awake most Thursday nights and average 3 hours of sleep (also with the help of my 1 and 4 year old children who don’t believe in sleeping at night) before completing the Open WOD’s Friday AM. I am grateful for getting it over with Friday in the morning because I would be a wreck worrying about it all Friday or Saturday. I am grateful for the Open Experience because I would have never known my own strength without trying.
I guess I am surprised at my own limits. John F Kennedy once said, “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly”.
I have been practicing yoga for more than ten years. When we were learning headstands I would be chicken to kick my legs up in the air because I didn’t want to fall over. When I finally had the courage to kick my legs up and actually did fall over, I realized falling wasn’t so bad. So now I can do a headstand. By failing, trying, and practicing is how we learn and better ourselves in life, not by comparing ourselves to others. Be your own competitor. Sign up for the Open and you will surprise yourself!
My biggest issue has been and still is not being patient and trying to achieve everything overnight.
When i first started crossfit i saw people do things that i couldn't even imagine doing. My first day at CrossFit Sun and I saw people doing pull ups with no bands, dips, strict push-ups, and double unders like it was no big deal. My first day I wanted to learn how to do everything right away. My first few months i would spend hours at the box to try to learn how to kip, how to do double unders and how to snatch. This excessive greed to learn everything also burnt me out and caused some acute injuries.
I have learned over the past year since i joined CFS that everything takes time. With every class that I attended and taking cues and notes from the coaches, I have improved in my strength and my skills. I have learned how to do pull ups and how to do double unders, not from drilling my body everyday but building the strength slowly and practicing the progressions for each movement. I still get frustrated when i miss a lift here and there but i have learned not to beat myself up for it; for example, I have been stuck at 95lbs snatch for the past few months. I was very frustrated at first and still am slightly whenever i miss at 100lbs but I have learned to be patient. I know i will get it if i keep practicing the technique and believing in my own strength. The reason for this post is because i know everyone wants to learn everything in one day but realistically it is not going to happend.
We all started our first day gassed and feeling intimidated of what others can do that we cannot. My message is that we will all get there, be patient. Do not rush what is not there. I was told that practice does not make perfect but perfect practice makes perfect. Everyone can achieve their goals, all it takes is time and practice. I am lucky because I am in an environment where everyone is so helpful and so encouraging that I feel like I progress everyday, even if it is something small like running without feeling light headed after. I am very lucky to be involved with a group of people that care about everybody's growth.
by Mark Sun
Embed Embed this video on your site
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Marc Small, 29, of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, died on February 12, 2009, from wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and small arms fire in Faramuz, Afghanistan. He is survived by his father and stepmother, Murray and Karen, mother and stepfather, Mary and Peter MacFarland, and fiancee Amanda Charney.
Hero WOD "Small"
by Christina Goodison
First I want to get in a quick plug in for Paleo. The hubcap (aka Mike Johnson) and I have been trying to conceive for 5 long years. I went through all kinds of meds & therapies, from alternative to western and nothing, and I mean NOTHING worked. Then I was referred to a RE (reproductive endocrinologist) who pretty much told me I could reverse my fertility condition by going Paleo. So 2 years ago I made the switch and never looked back. From being on the paleo boards a few months, I kept reading about crossfit, and that’s what led me to CFS in April 2 years ago. I watched my condition reverse in my symptoms and physically in my ultrasounds and now I’m happy to report that I’m 18 weeks pregnant!
So… After a year and a half at CFS and pushing myself to my limits (and past them) it’s been a very interesting and difficult change to do what I normally do, but with a baby on board. So let’s do this “stream of consciousness” style.
• Week 1 – doing my thang! Hearing rumors of some change ups coming to the programming.
• Week 2 – pushing hard, consistently doing my 4x a week. Deej mentioned in class about leveling up in the new programming. Yay!
• Week 3 – continuing to push. Deej briefly explained that the new programming will have different levels and depending on what we choose, we’d have some extra time commitments. I’m thinking I’m ready for this AND I can give the time to it. Yes! I will be going hardcore in the new year.
• Week 4 – kind of tired this week. Am I getting sick? Whatever. Push through. Sweat it out. I don’t have time for weakness if I’m going to move to another level.
• Week 5 – Ok. Seriously. WTH is going on? I’m taking two 2 hour naps a day and am falling asleep by 9pm. I must be sick. Sleep is for the weak! Push through! Continue 4x a week.
• Week 6 – Okay, yeah, I’m very “late”, but after 5 years of trying you become numb to the idea that you’ll see a + pregnancy test so you literally put it off as long as you can. Holy crap. Took a test at 2am and I’m freakin’ preggers! Wake up the hupcap to shove my pee stick in his face. He’s happy, but not… understandably. It is 2am and I’m waving my pee in his face. This week I literally made it to CFS twice and I couldn’t push because I was feeling tired.
• Week 7 – Good gosh I’ve never felt fatigue like this in my life. I seriously don’t know if I can even make it into the box. I’ll get in once for good measure. Went in once. Got home. Puked my guts out. Then slept 4 hours in my sweaty clothes. I feel a-change is coming.
• Week 8 – yeah. Good times. Not. Seriously had 24/7 nausea. Like for realz. Breaking down emotionally every third night crying about how I don’t think I can do this. The hubcap being the amazing man that he is, reminds me about how tough I am, about how much I push at crossfit mentally & physically and tells me that I can do this. (see! CF mentality works in regular life!)
• Week 9 – Endless *fog* of nausea + extreme fatigue continues. Now I’m feeling the guilt come on for not making it into CFS. Reading the facebook posts only makes the guilt worse. Crap. Look at all those PRs. Look they did sleds this week. Waaaaah.
• Week 10 - *fog* continues. Shamelessly private message Deej on facebook to cry about how I can’t come in but I feel bad and what’s a pregnant girl to do? Deej, who does have moments of sage wisdom, says to me “Do you want to PR or do you want to have a healthy baby?”. My answer… BOTH! Yeah. That’s me folks. Still not wanting to accept that crossfit in my life will have to change along with everything else.
• Week 11 - *fog* continues. Now I’m just pissed about not being into the box. Why is my body having this extreme of a reaction to pregnancy? People I know didn’t have this much nausea and fatigue! Sheesh. Maybe it’s because I’m doing this at age 40. Stupid old body. I can’t even read the CFS facebook page because I get angry. Crossfit? What’s crossfit? Blech.
• Week 12 –Nausea comes and goes now but fatigue is much less. Continue to avoid the CFS facebook page as it brings on serious hormonal rage now. I miss everyone. I miss Deej and him yelling at me most of all. I realize how much a part of my life the people at CFS were. Cue alternating cycles of rage & sadness.
• Week 13 – 4 straight days without nausea! No naps during the day! GET ME INTO DA BOX! Came back to CFS and to lots of love from everyone. Got in 2 days that week. Mark discussed modifications with me. Ugh. Mod-if-ications. What does this word even mean?
• Week 14 – 2 days in the box – yay! But seriously I’m out of breath in like no time. WOD’s now entail lots of “stop to catch your breath” breaks and “drink a half gallon of water” breaks and “crap I have to pee again” breaks. Also I can’t do any Vups, situps, etc. Planks for me now. No running (yay!) but sub with rowing (boo) and I’m told a 400m run = a 500m row??? I call shenanigans.
• Week 15 – 2 days in the box! And I’m ready for more! What? More modifications. Ugh. No squatting below parallel (this is seriously the hardest thing ever! I’ve worked for over a year to get my ass to the grass) – what is this imaginary parallel point? No push ups/burpees – now I do them on a tire, which is waaaay harder beeteedubs.
• Week 16 – Ready to get back to 4 days in the box now. Feeling semi-normal and getting used to all the modifications. Having fun cheering everyone else on because I’m not so self-absorbed in my own WODing hell. And Deej is forced to check in with me more often PLUS he can’t yell at me anymore. So now I have new Deej-isms like “You do you”. Good times.
• Week 17 – Reality setting in. New goal of getting into the box 2-3 times a week. 4 is just not going to happen. Also Deej has found new ways to torture me. Like he’ll make ALL my modifications arm related. So by the end of class I can’t lift my arms. Awesome.
• Week 18 – Continued torture from Deej, I think he dreams of new ways to “modify” for me. Considering coming to the 9am class. Jay couldn’t be half as mean, right? I can still backsquat 100lbs! Yay!
THE GOOD – Preggo’s get hugs from Mark, not high fives! This is true in the am & pm classes (verified by Toni M in the 5pm class, my fello CFS preggo & friend)
THE BAD – Sleds!!!!!!!! My most favorite thing in the box to do!! Now I can’t be pushing 6 around anymore or sprinting like lightning with 3 or 4. Now I’m stuck with a lousy 2 plates and I have to stop once in the middle of each leg to catch my breath. Boo. I dream of sleds now and me kicking butt with them. I will be back sleds, in several months I will be back for you my love…
THE UGLY – Oh gawd. Push ups on the tire. I was still snaking on the ground because my upper body strength is nowhere near my awesome lower body strength. Now put me on a tire and I can’t snake at all so basically I’m just half pushing up & my elbows flare out like they’re not supposed to do. Oh. And I found out Deej can still yell at me for this. “Get your chest down to the tire!!!” Me: “I’m trying, but if I go down I can’t push back up” Yeah. It’s ugly folks.
So there you go. Now I’m almost at the halfway point and I’m super proud of keeping up like I have. I know in the end this will be the best thing for my body and I’ll have a great mentality for that final crazy WOD when the baby comes. Mike wants to yell at me like a coach during the whole delivery process. I’m not sure that will actually help me in the moment, but I do know that my crossfit mentality will crossover and be used during that time. Plus I’ll be looking forward to getting back in the box after we have our little one and get back to where I left off and then level up!
Page 1 of 86