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6 Major Takeaways from my Experience with CrossFit

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6 Major Takeaways from my Experience with CrossFit

                  This article is mainly for the purpose of sharing a part of my fitness journey that I have recently embarked upon. Furthermore, I felt as though it was appropriate to write this as the 2017 open season is nearing its end. Similar to many other people, I discovered CrossFit through the internet and online videos. My initial reaction was to believe that this was another fitness fad that would eventually pass away. I remember scrolling through an endless list of negative comments such as “it’s too dangerous of a sport!” “These guys do not know how to exercise.” Although many of these comments discouraged my view on this training methodology; somehow my interest continued to grow and I found myself researching countless videos and articles until my friend mentioned a documentary called “Fittest on Earth”. This film follows a number of CrossFit athletes from all over the globe who compete in rigorous workouts to see who the fittest individual on the planet truly is. My mind was absolutely astonished at what the first event entailed: athletes begin with a 1 mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, followed by 200 push-ups, followed by 300 air squats, and finally another 1 mile run.

After being inspired by this film, I discovered an internship opportunity at a local CrossFit affiliate through my school program where I also obtained a membership. The knowledge I have learned was invaluable and extremely worth the effort. My body feels more functional and most importantly FITTER than ever. It’s safe to say that my experience with Windsor CrossFit has completely redefined how I want to train and feel.

Here are the six most valuable lessons I learned from CrossFit:

1. Lifting moderately light weights can still elicit high intensity.

Correction, lifting light weights can still annihilate you too. When I began my initial on ramp session, I had no idea about the amount of pain that was about to unfold. The beginning of the session focused on mobility and building basic fundamentals of the front squat, rowing, and box jumps. Luckily for me, I was quite familiar and comfortable with these movements. We eventually moved on to the main workout which consisted of a 500 meter row, followed by 15 front squats with just the barbell, and 15 box jumps. If I could describe how this workout felt it would be most accurate to say it was borderline torture. My body had never experienced this type of intensity and I felt an incredible burning sensation through my entire body, especially my legs. I was in such an intense state of delirium that I had to wait thirty minutes before I could go drive my car home. This fateful event taught me to never underestimate any amount of weight placed on a bar again, regardless of how insignificant it appears.

2. It is much more important to focus on what your body can do, rather than how it looks.

Never judge an individual’s capabilities solely based on their appearance. There is a major misconception amongst many individuals that fitness is purely measured through physique and how heavy one is capable of lifting. “That guy has small arms, clearly he’s not fit!” This general belief was quite common among my peers & acquaintances earlier in my life and I confess I was once guilty of this belief myself. This outlook completely changed when I was outmatched by everyone in my first CrossFit WOD (workout of the day). The most vivid memory I have from that workout was weary panting as I struggled to keep up with the rest of the class. As I continued to participate in WODS, I discovered women who just came off a pregnancy performing reps at an unbelievable pace, bulky men that moved with incredible agility, & even adults in their late forty’s/fifty’s doing handstand push-ups. In other words, the majority of these participants were primarily focused on improving their skills and abilities in order to become as well-rounded as possible. Looking good is a secondary effect to CrossFit athletes.

3. Mental toughness should really be considered being added to the ten components of physical fitness.

A few weeks into my membership, I realized a common aspect among many of the members who worked out here; they were not only trained physically, but mentally as well. In other words, they were being taught to learn how to tolerate pain and suffering during workouts. I found this individual resilience within each member to be incredibly admirable and inspiring for one major reason; this confidence obtained from exercise is vital to contributing to success outside the gym such as sports, education, and especially the workplace. In order to truly become a well-rounded individual, mental toughness should be trained regularly along with other fitness components such as speed and strength.

4. A strong sense of community is a powerful weapon to enhance your performance levels.

Camaraderie, a strong support system, and a band of individuals that will cheer you on during those horrendous final reps. All of these are common features that are unique to CrossFit affiliates and difficult to find at another gym. During my time working out in classes, I found myself growing at a much more efficient rate in comparison to when I trained alone. I had coaches who were adept at explaining basic fundamentals, holding me accountable for rest/reps, fellow members that push me farther than I would normally push, and many others that did a wonderful job at making everyone feel welcome.

 5. Form is the most emphasized skill in a CrossFit gym.

The greatest stereotype that people associate with CrossFit is that form is completely disregarded during workouts. From what I have experienced, this could not be any farther from the truth. During every single CrossFit class coaches will always structure a portion of the class focusing on form, regardless of whether the class is full of beginners or advanced participants. These sessions includes general cues aimed at building basic fundamentals, followed by individual feedback to each participant from the coach. Moreover, it is mandatory for all people who wish to begin a gym membership at a CrossFit gym to complete a series of on-ramp sessions. These sessions are personally taught by a certified coach and are designed to introduce movements essential to CrossFit and to ensure that they are being performed with proper/safe mechanics.

6. There is a major difference between CrossFit as a sport & CrossFit as a training methodology.

The unfathomable workouts performed by professional athletes at the CrossFit games are by no means an accurate portrayal of what training at a box (this is what CrossFit affiliates refer to their gyms as) looks like. These athletes are trained to push themselves to the absolute limit and past ordinary breaking points. It’s important to understand that these athletes did not make it the Games by mere flukes because they all share one common characteristic; they have mastered the basic fundamentals needed to achieve a strong foundation. This is where the distinction between CrossFit as a sport and as a training methodology occurs. The CrossFit Games is the ultimate competition for world class individuals to test their fitness against other top athletes after perfecting every single movement; whilst the majority of individuals who train at a CrossFit box do not necessarily aspire to actually make it to the Games. Alternatively, these individuals may strive for a variety of other goals such as improving their overall functionality, performing more efficiently in their respective occupation, or even just learning how to pick up a barbell.

Written by: Brandon Hang

WCF Intern/St. Clair College Student- Fitness & Health Promotion Program

Self-Esteem Workshop for Teenage Girls

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WORKSHOP F.A.Q

Who is this workshop for?

Teenage girls ages 13-17 that can use help in building self-confidence in every aspect.

Who will be running the workshop?
Lauren Bosco is the Founder and Head Coach of the Kids Fitness League. Lauren has a degree in Psychology from the University of Windsor with a focus on Child Psychology. She is also a certified Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Lauren also operates Windsor CrossFit and has several CrossFit and CrossFit Kids fitness certifications.

How long is the workshop going to be?

The workshop is going to be 1.5 Hours long each week. We will be starting promptly at 5:00pm and ending at 6:30pm.

There are 4 sessions in this workshop, and they are:

April 7th – 5p-6:30p

April 14th – 5p-6:30p

April 21st – 5p-6:30p

April 28th – 5p-6:30p

What kinds of things will you be talking about in the workshop?

A few topics we’ll be discussing in the workshop are:

  •  Introducing appearance ideals
  • Sources of appearance ideals
  • Appearance pressures
  • Challenging appearance pressures
  • What are media messages
  • Purpose of media messages
  • Manipulation of media messages
  • Remixing our responses to media messages
  • The comparison process
  • Negative consequences of comparing
  • The “whirlpool of comparisons”
  • Changing our scripts
  • Introducing body talk
  • Exploring examples of body talk
  • Problems with body talk
  • Avoiding body talk
  • Valuing other qualities
  • Commitment
  • Planning future actions
  • Types of bullying
  • Why people bully
  • How to handle bullies

What will you be doing in the workshop?

The workshop will consist of highly interactive powerpoint lectures, along with activities. Activities will either be done in a small group, as partners, or as an individual. There will also be icebreaker games so the girls can get to know their fellow workshop attendees, build friendships, and feel as though they are opening up in a safe and comfortable space.

Where is the workshop going to take place?

The workshop is going to take place in the Kids Fitness League Room within Windsor CrossFit’s facility.

Do I have to stay at the facility while my child is in the workshop?

No, you don’t have to stay at the facility while your child is at the workshop. If you wish to stay at the facility during the workshop, you’re more than welcome to! Our reception area has a big comfy couch with Apple TV! 🙂 Oh Yeah!

Am I (the parent/legal guardian) allowed in the workshop?

Unfortunately not. Ultimately, I want kids to experience this workshop free of any parental influence.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW!

  • Please bring your teen into the facility when dropping them off and come in to pick them up. We don’t let minors leave the facility unless they’re with a parent/legal guardian.
  • If someone else will be picking up your minor other than yourself (ex. family friend or relative), please let me know in advance via email (lauren@windsorcrossfit.com) or by phone (519.903.3099).
  • I will have snacks every week for the girls during the workshop. The snacks will be healthy (of course!). Please let me know of any allergies your teen may have.
  • There will be no refunds for the workshop.

Price: $150.00

Taking CrossFit TOO Seriously Can Be Kind of Shitty

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Around this time last year, I sat down with the Head Coach of Windsor CrossFit and told him that I wanted to take CrossFit seriously. I wanted to train hard, compete and have my chance at making it to Regionals in a few years. He looked at me and asked, “How badly do you want to make it? Out of 10.” I didn’t think twice, and easily answered 10. He further explained that training seriously would mean huge life changes. I would have to cut back on socializing, stop drinking, eat with discipline, dedicate hours to the gym (a place I already spent hours working as a coach), make changes to my job, sacrifice a lot of the things I loved and do it all willingly because at the end of the day, it would have to be what I wanted to. I would have to spend money on physiotherapy, massages and other forms of rehabilitation. I would have to hire a coach for myself. I would have to go into debt with a smile on my face if it meant I would succeed. I would have to put CrossFit above absolutely everything else in my life. That, he said was a 10 out of 10. He asked me again how badly I wanted the make it to Regionals. I looked at him with steady determination and answered, “10.”

My answer since then really hasn’t changed. What has changed is my perspective, and my awareness of what a ten really, really meant. Here is what I learned my first year taking CrossFit seriously.

  1. Comparison truly is the thief of joy.

My first venture into serious training started with a strength program that I designed for my training partner/best friend and I (Hi Nat!). We spent about two hours a day working through the strength portion, then we would hit a WOD that one of us designed. And I lost. Every. Single. Day. Nat is just stronger than me – it’s as simple as that. But I had to learn the hard way that it’s okay to lose, and that hyper-focusing on what someone else is doing will bring you nothing but disappointment. Every day that I spent comparing myself to Nat, is a day I left the gym discouraged and beaten down. I would hit 20# PRs and all I could think about was how much more Nat had lifted. It was a terrible mindset to have, and it sucked, but I’m grateful for the experience. Because now, working out next to people like Krista in the advanced class, I can be okay with watching her easily cycle snatch weights that I have to hit as super heavy singles. Because it doesn’t matter that she’s a more skilled athlete – there will always be a more skilled athlete. I’m better than I was last week, last month and last year, and that is really where my focus needs to be.

2: CrossFit is a lot less fun when you care about how you perform every day.

When I first joined Windsor CrossFit, I loved the atmosphere. To me, there was literally nothing better than coming to a WOD and trying my best to crush whatever challenge had been presented that day. So when I wanted to start taking it seriously, I thought that was going to be the easiest part. But let me tell you, that working out for enjoyment, and trying hard when you feel like it, is a hell of a lot different than feeling compelled to perform well every single day. It is mentally exhausting to give a shit – I can’t put it more simply than that. When you do a WOD that is programmed for the gym, and you work hard and you get a good sweat and you feel like you got a great workout in – that’s one thing. But when you’re expected to get under a certain time cap, or to hit RX weights, or score a large amount of reps, and not doing those things means you’re simply not good enough – that is a completely different beast. When you’re training like you mean it, every workout is going to be slightly out of reach. Every weight is going to be heavy enough to suck. Every movement is going to be outside of your abilities or comfort zone. Every WOD is going to be too fast or too long or too fricken hard for your liking. And that’s because every day is a day to get better, and doing what your good at isn’t going to get you there. And it takes a lot of mental strength to tackle that kind of challenge every day. Which means you’re going to need to want it at a 10/10.

  1. Working out alone sucks.

I quickly realized that following a training program that is different than everyone else’s meant that I would have to train alone – a lot. One of the best parts about training at Windsor CrossFit is having a community of people to sweat and suffer along side you. But that all changes when your programming does, and suddenly you’re trying to tackle the Assault Bike and Thrusters by yourself at 2pm in an empty red room. And even if you get through it and you did your best, there’s no one there to fist bump you or give you a high five. You have to be happy with your progress, by yourself, and know that you did well. No one is going to say it for you. This is potentially why I post a lot about my PRs online – I still want to celebrate the way I did when I first started at the gym.

  1. The decisions you make on day one, will come to get you on day two.

When you dial in your nutrition, and your mobility, and your sleep and your lifestyle, anything that throws it out of balance is going to make your performance suffer. If you start eating well every day, you’re going to feel it the night you decide you want to relax and eat pizza. If you’re training seriously, drinking alcohol is literally your way of saying, “I don’t give a shit about how I perform tomorrow.” And being out dancing until 3:00am? This will literally ruin your WOD the next day. Because the workout is going to be grueling and your going to have expectations of yourself, and you’re going to regret drinking Kronenburg on a patio at John Max on a Friday night. Every time someone offers you chips, or ice cream, or wine, or a burger, you’re going to have to make a mental decision. Do you want your body to be at its best, or do you not? And that decision gets harder and more stressful to make as time goes on. I promise. But I’ve learned that the best way to say no is to have a bigger yes inside of you. And that ‘yes’ has to be your performance in the gym, or your results will suffer.

  1. Your body will change, and it will not always feel like a good thing.

Since last year, I’ve put on 15lbs. And not 15lbs of fat from a summer of binge drinking and shitty food that sat on my hips, boobs and butt. I put on 15lbs of (mostly) muscle. My shoulders blew up, my legs got big and now my body is beginning to look like I feel. In the gym, this is great. I’m more confident than I was, I feel and look stronger, and I’m proud of every scrape, scar, callous, bruise and tear. But outside of the gym, I’m met with quite a few struggles.

I’m used to being a small, slender, feminine looking girl. I used to put on summer dresses and go out and talk to people and feel like – well, like a girl. For lack of better terms. Now when I go out, the dynamics are different. I’ve had guys tell my guy friends that I was “awesome” but they couldn’t date someone who looked like they could beat them up. I’ve had guys tell me that women shouldn’t, “look like that,” and in general, people have had a pretty open opinion about my body that they didn’t have before. Just this week a guy I had been talking to literally stopped speaking to me when he asked me what my max deadlift was. That is a true story. And although it’s funny, and I tell myself that those guys are obviously little b*tches and I wouldn’t want to date them anyway, it is hard to adjust to. And I’ve often made the mistake of letting these instances make me feel ugly.

  1. It will be challenging, and sometimes shitty, but it will be worth it.

If you truly believe your goals are a 10/10, you are going to make them work. Because making them work is what is most important to you. For me, CrossFit is the most important thing. Even though it means going to sleep early every night, and saying no to long trips that will interfere with training, and eating really, really healthy, and being a single bird forever, and giving it my all every damn time I walk into that gym. Even though it is the hardest challenge I’ve ever presented myself with, it is worth it 100%. The feeling of accomplishment after a long hard week, and the pride I hear in other people’s voices when they tell me how far I’ve come – that makes all of it worth it. And I’m looking forward to another year of training, and going through it all over again.

-Coach Kim 🙂

3 EASY TIPS ON GETTING BACK TO THE GYM!

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3 EASY TIPS ON GETTING BACK TO THE GYM!

I’m Lazy. What Now?

I can openly admit that I am the Queen of taking more time off from the gym then what is sometimes necessary or appropriate. If you know me, you’re probably thinking this is absolutely absurd since I work at the gym. “If she’s already at the gym …why doesn’t she just take an hour and workout?!”

Well, like everyone else who is into health and fitness, there are times when my lack of exercise is justifiable, and then there are times when I’m just being a lazy piece of shit. During my lazy piece of shit absences (that can last anywhere from 2 days to an entire month #guilllttyyy), I have these genuinely silly beliefs that I’m too busy and/or I’m just fine and happy not working out for an extended period of time. When these two excuses start popping up, I know what the REAL reason is for my overly extended absence from the workout scene…and it’s because I’m SCARED SHITLESS to get back into it.

What am I so damn scared of? Well, for one, I’m scared of feeling as though I’ve regressed significantly during my time off. Making gains in CrossFit/fitness in general is difficult. Depending on who you are and where you’re at in your fitness journey, it can take months to make even the smallest amount of gains in regards to strength, skill, and conditioning. To come back after taking days/weeks (or months hehe) off and feeling like it’s your first day at the gym can definitely feel defeating mentally and emotionally. I’m also scared of going “too hard” during my workouts (because I’m so eager to make up for lost time!) and burning out.

What now? How do I overcome these fears and get back to the gym? As a seasoned veteran of taking time off, I can honestly say that I’ve mastered the art of reintegrating myself back into the fitness world!

Here are 3 tips and tricks that work for me every single time:

  1. STOP TELLING YOURSELF YOU’RE TOO BUSY

I help run and grow a business, operate a kids health and fitness program within said business. I’m a trained and certified Health Coach, which I do on the side because I LOVE IT (and I’m good at it hehe). I am a proud puppy mama to two cute critters that have tons of energy, and like most people, I also have a household and relationships to maintain between all the work related craziness! So I get it. I know what it means to be busy. I also know (from experience) that there are two types of busy; 1) Busy & Miserable and. 2) Busy & Happy.

  •  Busy & Miserable is when you’re life is completely out of balance. You can’t remember the last time you took some time for yourself which in turn is making you feel like shit. Because you feel like shit, you’re attitude becomes shitty. Your shitty attitude becomes even shittier words and actions. You’ve now integrated said shit into every aspect of your life; work, home, family, intimate relationships, friendships, etc. And voila, you’re on a successful path for an epic nervous breakdown and hindering any potential progress or growth.

And then there’s….

  • Busy & Happy is when you’re life has meaningful balance. You’re taking time for yourself (aka taking care of yourself) and because of this you’re feeling great. This feeling of greatness trickles into every aspect of your life; work, home, family, friends, attitude, etc. You’re busy, but because you have positive, healthy, and reenergizing outlets you can continue to grow and prosper mentally, physically, and emotionally as opposed to burning out after a week of craziness that is your life.
  1. START TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF IN OTHER WAYS

Often times when we stop working out, our other awesome health and wellness habits that went hand in hand with working out fall to the waist side. We stop eating as well as we used to (or stop eating well period!), we stop taking care of our bodies by getting massages, chiropractic or physiotherapy treatment, we stop mobilizing, taking our vitamins, having our healthy shakes, etc. Let’s face it, it’s a steep slope downhill for most and when you look up from the bottom of the hill, the task of getting back to the top seems daunting and impossible.

BUT IT’S NOT I PROMISE YOU!

The greatest way to create a huge domino effect that leads you back to the gym is to start small. And not to mention THIS IS THE FUN PART where all of the small things we do feel so great and empowering!

Things I like to do to ease myself back into my healthy lifestyle are:

  • Drink more water throughout the day
  • Cook myself healthy meals that include tons of vegetables. Making sure to keep restaurant food to a minimum or eliminate it completely
  • Start integrating the following holistic healing practices back into my life; Massage, Fascial Stretch, Chiro, Physio, and Mobility. (Windsor CrossFit conveniently offers all of these services)
  • Eliminate sugar (mainly any type of dessert, candy, junk food, etc.)
  • Get more sleep
  • Self care measures such as; overall body scrubbing to exfoliate, doing my nails, getting my hair done, putting on a face mask, etc.
  • Having healthy shakes
  • Taking vitamins or other holistic supplements that give me energy

I know most of these things have nothing to do with fitness directly. But the point here is to prime your brain and thought processes to understand, believe, feel, and know that taking care of yourself feels good, is worth the time, and spreads into every aspect of your life. As time passes, you’ll want to do more for yourself…and that more is getting back to the gym!

  1. DON’T COME BACK WITH A MASSIVE VENGEANCE

When people think about “getting back to the gym” they feel the need to go hard as f*** right away to make up for all the missed time and damage done; and they want to keep going hard until they can’t go hard anymore. Very few people can and should do this. For most, easing yourself back into the gym is the smartest thing to do, otherwise you may just end up right back to where you started which is taking even more time off! WHY? There are several reasons why it’s important to ease back into it; so you don’t get burnt out, so you don’t feel overwhelmed and start doubting whether or not you can keep this pace up for weeks let alone months and years to come and most importantly so you don’t get hurt!

I can only hope that these three little tips help you get back into fitness next time you’re in a rut! I know after the holidays it can be especially difficult since we’ve all taken more time off then anticipated (hey…it happens!).

Now…LET’S MAKE 2017 OUR BITCH! #BAM

Yours in fitness and wellness,

-Lauren 🙂

Why it is perfectly OK to not ‘RX’ WODs

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Today at the box I was looking at a workout and I spent quite some time debating whether I should RX the workout or not…. I even got angry with the thought that I might not be able to finish it. Then the CrossFit coach in me told me to snap out of this mindset and to re-check my ego. I ended up choosing scaling options that worked for me and allowed me to 1. Get a great workout in 2. Work on weaknesses, so that one day I can RX this WOD and 3. To achieve the proper stimulus that this WOD was set out to accomplish. I left the gym feeling accomplished and in a good place. I wanted to share this with my fellow CrossFitters who have these thoughts go through their head when looking at WODs and programming. Enjoy!

Why it is perfectly OK to not ‘RX’ W.O.Ds:

As a CrossFit coach, I constantly hear people saying (myself included) “I didn’t RX today”, or “Yeah, I did the WOD but I didn’t do it RX”. CrossFit is defined as (for those of you that didn’t know) ‘constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity’ the goal is to ‘increase work capacity over broad time and modal domains’. What does this mean?? To put it simply we as coaches don’t give a f*ck if you RX a W.O.D… we just want you to get better. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see athletes progress and push themselves in ways they never thought imaginable and we do celebrate these achievements on a daily basis. However, we care more about how efficiently you are moving and how these movements are executed – – at a high intensity. End result, we want you to have a good workout and we want you to have fun. Leaving the gym with the sense of accomplishment is our #1 priority for our members and it should be yours too.

At times programming can seem scattered and even unreasonable especially when looking at the elite or ‘competition’ style of programming. However, each W.O.D has a purpose and each day is programmed to push our more elite level athletes as well as our ‘fitness’ and general population athletes . We should all be able to train at the same time regardless of our abilities, in the same class, that is the beauty of CrossFit. If you’re not sure about the stimulus you should be getting or the purpose of the W.O.D or the time frame you should be finishing in, ask your Coach – – even if you consider yourself elite, it might make you rethink your approach.

That being said, approach each W.O.D or strength component with this mindset; the goal is not always about just completing the work laid out in front of you. Each day has a different stimulus, meant to push you in different ways. Our goal is to improve your overall fitness, by adapting to physical stress in the right way. This is why scaling and changing movements to move more efficiently is the right thing to do and is always highly encouraged by WCF Coaches.

So, the next time you’re in the box and you’re worried about looking weak because you’re not RX-ing the W.O.D or everyone else has more weight on their bar, just remember that it’s more important to scale appropriately and complete the W.O.D within the proper time frames that vary depending on the stimulus of the W.O.D that day. We are not all Regional or Games level athletes and even those who are need this nice little reminder from time to time. Stop worrying about getting stronger and faster!! These increases happen slowly and any experienced CrossFit coach will put you in your place when you’re trying to do things that you’re body isn’t ready for. Go back to basics, trust the process, and most importantly check your ego at the door, EVERY DAMN DAY!

– Coach Jaleesa

My Marathon Gave Me Zero Satisfaction

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In February of this year I was itching for something to challenge myself. I was yearning for a physical challenge that would be so gruelling that it would test me mentally and emotionally as well. I was looking for a test. Something outside of my comfort zone and what I considered to be super fucking ridiculously crazy. So, I decided to run the Detroit Free Press International Marathon that took place just recently on October 15, 2016. For those of you who don’t know how long a marathon is it’s 26.2M (42K). I’ve never ran a full or half marathon prior to this, or anything over 10K! So I was stoaked to start testing my fitness and seeing what I was capable of.

THE TRAINING

I’ve been an avid CrossFitter for over 4 years at the time I signed up and therefore I felt strong enough and fit enough to run a marathon without putting in tons of training. My plan was to keep doing CrossFit regularly but incorporate running (both long runs and short runs) more frequently. However, my marathon running friends/family convinced me that it would be downright silly and dangerous if I didn’t train. So, I took their advice (mainly to prevent injury the day of the race) and started running like a mad woman. Over the course of 5 months, I went from a 10K (week 1) to a 25K which I accomplished two weeks before the race. Throughout my marathon training, I would incorporate WODs 2-3 days/week because I missed CrossFit like crazy! You can take the girl out of CrossFit but you can’t take CrossFit out of the girl hehe!

HOW I FELT THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS

As the weeks progressed, I felt myself growing weaker, slower, and way more exhausted then I should have felt while doing CrossFit Classes. Weights that I once considered to be light began to feel extremely heavy and hitting W.O.D’s with the intensity I used to bring felt nearly impossible. Not only that, my mobility (or lack thereof) was seriously laughable. I have NEVER felt more sore, have gotten more injuries, and felt overall LESS CAPABLE (functional) in my entire life then when I was training for this marathon. I began to lose weight (which was all muscle), and felt soft as baby shit.

THE MORNING OF THE MARATHON

The day of the Marathon came (obvs.) and I was excited.

My thoughts the morning of the race…“THIS! This is what I put CrossFit on the backburner for. This is redemption day. The day I finally get the test I’ve been looking and waiting for since February!”

I felt ready. I didn’t feel great (read above haha) but I felt ready. I couldn’t wait to cross the finish line! “You’re going to feel AMAZING after crossing the finish line!” I can’t tell you how many people told me this who have ran marathons themselves before. So naturally I was looking forward to this glorious moment that everyone spoke of.

DURING THE MARATHON

Two words: boring and painful.

Don’t get me wrong. The energy of the people who came out to watch and cheer everyone on was EPIC! Really the signs were hilarious and made me laugh.

Regardless of my dedication through training, having the proper fuelling and hydration on me, my lower body felt stricken with rigormortis. I could barely lift my feet off the ground, but I was still feeling great mentally and emotionally. I was NOT going to quit, not for a second; it never even crossed my mind.

THE FINISH LINE

I saw the finish line in the distance and as I was approaching it, I was waiting for #AllTheFeels to come to me….but I felt nothing.

“Okay! Maybe when I actually cross the finish line I’ll feel unreaI?!”

NOPE!

I crossed the finish line and felt nothing.

I felt zero sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.

 

WHY?

I didn’t get what I was looking for.

I thought this was going to be a HUGE mental, physical, and emotional challenge and it wasn’t. I’ve felt WAY bigger challenges (mentally, physically, and emotionally) pertaining to fitness just by doing a 10 Min AMRAP at the box.

I put CrossFit on the backburner and it wasn’t worth it.

I regret taking so much time to train for the marathon. If I can go back and not train for it as much, I would and I think that I would have still been able to run it just fine (if not better).

I thought I was going to be in better shape then I ended up in, but instead, I lost a lot of muscle, strength, and definition that I worked really hard for.

 

I’M BAAACCCKKKKK!!!!!!

Because of this marathon, I appreciate CrossFit 10 times more then I ever have. I have a completely different outlook on CrossFit and how much it jives with me and my life and what my body needs and desires to strive in terms of physical fitness. It is truly what feels best for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. This new outlook allows me to tackle W.O.D’s differently and get through physical challenges that I don’t think I would have gotten through otherwise.

And yes, I am proud that I finished! But I knew I was going to regardless. I would have crawled past that finish line if I had to.

 

LESSON LEARNED

Next time I want a HUGE mental physical and emotional challenge pertaining to fitness, I’m just going to do FRAN.

 

NOTE

I know what you’re thinking….this article is a little bias based off of my position here at the box. But I promise you that these feelings are genuine and in no way twisted to glorify CrossFit.

Also, in no way am I bashing people that run marathons or like to run marathons. I don’t consider myself, in any way, “above” people who run. Personally, marathons just don’t “do it” for me. It wasn’t the challenge I was looking for or expecting. I am also not delivering this blog in any other way but my own personal perspective. Please do not interpret my personal feelings on the race to be conceited or boastful. I merely want to share my experience because I have yet to read or hear perspectives on marathons that are like mine.

To those of you that think we give a fuck about what you look like…I have a big dirty secret for you…WE JUST DON’T!

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I’d like to give a special shout out to all of those who attended the Pool WOD yesterday. Unless you’re used to working out half naked in front of other people, it can be a little intimidating. Everyone has a goal/idea of what they want to look like or “should” look like in order to workout in public (let alone workout in a bathing suit in front of other people). It becomes really easy to think that our bodies aren’t enough or “quite ready” for public display. Although this is very common and understandable, it’s a HUGE mistake. The injustice that you’re imposing upon yourself and your entire life by feeling too scared/intimidated to workout in front of others is absolutely devastating in my opinion.

The road to health, wellness, and fitness is very different for everyone. For some, it’s an easy road with little to no obstacles. These people see results quickly and fairly easily. To others, it is the most difficult road they’ve ever been down. There are many obstacles and struggles both mentally and physically. And then there is everyone in between. But regardless of what the road conditions are like for you, it’s so important, meaningful, and worthy of staying on the road because progress is fucking progress. It’s way more valuable than standing still and being frozen by the intimidation that you created in your head. Being concerned about how you look/being judged while you’re working out is understandable but I’m telling you in all honesty that no one cares what you look like. We care about who you are, what’s going on between your ears, and the actions that you’re taking to build a healthy and happy life.

I truly believe that I can speak on everyone’s behalf here at Windsor CrossFit when I say, we don’t give a flying fuck how you look. This applies to everyone, whether you’re overweight or in the best damn shape anyone has ever seen! It doesn’t matter…not to me anyways.

I, personally, am a thousand times more impressed by your motivation and determination than how much you weigh and the definition in your arms or abs. I’m SO insanely impressed when I see individuals digging deep and pushing through very difficult and gruelling WODs and not giving up. I get goose bumps when I see people who are last to finish a WOD, they look absolutely destroyed mentally and physically, but they’re pushing through, one rep at a time, without give. I love seeing people show up day after day after day, ready to take on whatever comes their way regardless of if they think they can do it or not. THIS…this is what the JOURNEY to health, wellness, and fitness is all about. This journey is so beautiful because you start doing things you never thought were possible because you’re getting out of your comfort zone. If you stay on the path long enough, I guarantee you that you’ll eventually ask yourself this question; “When did I becoming such a badass, fearless, motherfucker?”

When you’re in the right place, surrounded by the right people, fitness will be fun, progress will be made, goals will be met, and you will be reminded that it’s important to get out of your comfort zone regardless of what you think you should look like or how “fit/athletic” you should be.

P.S. We care about progress and hitting your own personal goals.

P.P.S. If you don’t give shit about this article because you hate reading…watch the video below

Yours in health and wellness,

~Lauren 😀

REWRITING THE RULES: What I want the girls in the KFL Program to know

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I had a kids fitness class this week with seven children all between the ages of 5-8. In the class there were about 6 boys and one little girl. The one little girl’s name is Beth and she has some of the most amazing qualities you can find in someone as young as six years old. She is strong, focused, smart, engaged, determined, athletic, cute as a damn button, and SO, SO much more!

At various points throughout the class, Beth would come up to me, look me in the eyes, and whisper private feelings of inferiority that all started with “Lauren, I’m JUST a girl…” and ended with something that she felt as though she couldn’t do as well in comparison to the boys in the class.

My mind was blown.

Every.

Single.

Time.

She had no idea that she was outperforming the boys in EVERY aspect and component of the class. Why didn’t she know that? How could she not see how well she was moving, running, skipping, jumping, and throwing in comparison to her classmates? The answer is simple; society limits girls.

Now, before you stop reading this because you think I’m a crazed feminist, I’m not. I call things like I see them and I have some experience growing up in a traditional family with a male sibling. I know a thing or two about the unwritten rules on what it “really means to be a lady”…. all of which I have broken already by the way (sorry mom and dad). I remember distinctly what I wasn’t able/allowed to do, but my brother was. And when I had asked why, the answer was always “because you’re a girl and things are different when you’re a girl.”

Society, in many different ways (some of which are even subliminal) remind girls that they can’t be brave, sporty, strong, muscular, loud, fast, play certain sports because they are “for boys”, etc.

We are, however, constantly reminded that we’re supposed to be; weak and in need of rescue, always be smiling and happy, bad at sports because we’re far too delicate and fragile, glossed, primped, adorable, and submissive. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, take an hour or so and watch any Disney Princess movie. #PointProven

Limitations such as these are placed on girls from the day they’re born and have the potential of sticking with them throughout their entire life. I want to change that. I want all of those feelings and thoughts of limitations to stop once they enter the program.

I have made it my personal mission and responsibility to make sure girls like Beth grow up knowing how unbelievably un-fucking-stoppable they are. I want them to KNOW and FEEL how limitless their potential is. That they are beautiful souls capable of doing whatever their brilliant minds dream of. That they are brave, strong, independent, and in NO way, shape or form need to be “rescued” by a man. That they can be strong mentally, physically, and emotionally. That they are always ENOUGH, both as a person and in the things they set out to do. That being strong and having muscles is crazy beautiful. That it feels pretty fucking awesome when you’re out lifting or out preforming the boy next to you in the class and that’s normal and okay.

I want to help build the self-esteem that girls deserve because it dictates every decision they make in their lives. Good self-esteem equals good life decisions. CrossFit is magical because it has the natural ability to increase one’s self-esteem (no matter how old you are or what your sex/gender is) and break any/all limitations you may have placed on yourself. This newfound self-esteem and limitless feeling eventually bleeds into every aspect of your life.

If you know a young lady who can use a self-esteem boost, send her my way. I’d be happy to help show her how truly amazing she is and how much potential she has under all of the unnecessary worry and anxiety.

Yours in health and wellness,

-Lauren 🙂

P.S. No I don’t swear in front of children like this

P.P.S. I care about the self-esteem of boys just as much. Boys and girls receive equal amounts of care and Coaching in classes.

Skin Mapping

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SKIN MAPPING

You may have heard that your skin is a reflection of your health. When a blemish appears on your face, it may be a sign of an imbalance, whether it is related to nutrition, hormones, genetics, or environmental factors. Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it communicates with the internal organs, ultimately dictating what shows up – or doesn’t – on our faces.

Do you want to know how you can improve your health for radiant skin?

Skin mapping, also known as face mapping, is a technique originally used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. The idea is that the face is a mirror of your health – various areas or “zones” of the face correlate to specific organs and reveal their condition. Face mapping guides you to look beyond the surface and treat the underlying cause of a skin condition.

FOREHEAD

Female face with wrinkles on forehead - skincare treatment

The forehead is a window to the liver and gallbladder. Excessive fat consumption and/or too much alcohol may cause breakouts in this area. Balance your system by minimizing rich foods and alcoholic beverages and drinking plenty of herbal tea and fresh water. Milk thistle and burdock root are often used to help support liver and gallbladder health.

BETWEEN THE EYEBROWS

between eyebrows

The area between your eyebrows, also known as the “third eye,” is said to be connected to your stomach and liver. Poor digestion and toxic buildup may lead to blemishes in this area. Try an elimination diet to rule out any allergies or intolerances and consider a gentle cleanse. Reducing caffeine, alcohol, and sugar can also improve digestive health.

TEMPLES AND BROW LINE

Portrait of a natural beauty on a white background. This photo has been produced in studio with these professionals : model, make-up artist, hair dresser and stylist. A professional retoucher gave it the final magic touch. [url=file_search.php?action=file&lightboxID=5157013][img]http://02b5b0c.netsolhost.com/stock/banniere9.jpg[/img][/url]

The temples and brow line correlate to the kidneys. Issues in this region could indicate dehydration and/or overworked kidneys. Low back pain typically goes hand-in-hand with these symptoms. Try drinking more water and including superfoods such as kale, spinach, berries, and algae in your diet.

 

UNDER THE EYES
under the eyes
The area under your eyes represents the condition of the stomach, kidneys, and liver. If you’re experiencing puffiness and/ or dark circles under your eyes, consider reducing or removing alcohol, caffeine, and sugar from your diet. Drink plenty of water and detoxifying tea and make sure you are getting enough quality sleep.
BRIDGE OF THE NOSE AND UPPER AREA OF CHEEK
bridge nose
The bridge of your nose and upper area of your cheeks is said to be connected to the heart. Rashes like rosacea commonly appear in this area. Try replacing unhealthy saturated fats with healthy fats loaded with omega fatty acids to boost your HDL (good cholesterol) and reduce your LDL (bad cholesterol). Opt for raw nuts, avocado, salmon, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
MIDDLE REGION OF CHEEKS
mid cheek

The middle-region of the cheeks is a window to the stomach and lungs. This area of the face is notorious for rosacea as well as breakouts and hyper pigmentation. Consider common allergens like wheat and dairy. Try alkalizing your body by eating plenty of green vegetables and reducing acid-forming foods like alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.

LOWER CHEEKS AND NOSE

lower cheeks and nose

The lower cheeks and nose get bossed around by the liver and stomach. This area is abound by wrinkles, breakouts, and can usually be blamed on food intolerances and toxic buildup. Clean up your diet and add in some cleansing vegetable juice. Experiment to see what type of eating approach optimizes your baseline and is sustainable for you.

MOUTH REGION

 mouth

The mouth region is also connected to the stomach. Consider food sensitivities and toxic buildup. You may want to try a gentle detox and/or an elimination diet and add more green vegetables and fiber to your meals.

JAW LINE

jawline

The jawline is a window to the ovaries and/or colon, and breakouts here
can be triggered by hormonal stress, especially in women. A consistent menstrual cycle can help keep hormones and circulation healthy. While menstruating, women should include a lot of greens and hydrating foods. Try a balanced, low glycemic diet of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Keep stress levels under control and ensure that you are getting quality sleep.

LYMPH NODES

swollen-glands-2012

The lymph nodes can gauge stress levels and can often determine if the body is trying to fight off illness. Our glands swell when they are fighting off bacteria – a good sign that our bodies are working to process the bad stuff. If your glands feel irritated or swollen, take the time to unwind by practicing self-care. Extra rest, a balanced diet, yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation can all help to reduce emotional and physical stress that interferes with your body’s natural healing process.

REMEMBER

Skin mapping is a very specific technique, but it all comes down
to balancing your baseline health, improving your immunity, pinpointing sensitivities, and discovering the approach that truly works for you, not against you. No two people are the same, and every individual will require a different protocol for optimal health, both inside and out.

WITH HEALTH AND WELLNESS ALWAYS!!!

~Lauren #LB

REFERENCES

Face Mapping for better Facial Skincare

Face Mapping for better Facial Skincare. (2009, August 20).
Retrieved from http://www.bienetrespa.com/skin-care-101/face-mapping-facial- skincare/

Vapour Organic Beauty

Vapour Organic Beauty. (n.d.).
Retrieved from http://www.vapourbeauty.com/

Integrative Nutrition

Module 7 2014, 2015 Integrative Nutrition Inc.

Magical Mushrooms!

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I Consume Magical Mushrooms Every Morning! 😉

Here are two absolutely amazing Super Foods that I add to my fruit/veg smoothie every morning and how they benefit the body!

1. REISHI MUSHROOM POWDER
HELPS TO…
~ Boost the immune system
~ Fight off infections
~ Heal lung conditions (ex. asthma, bronchitis), heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
~ Fight against kidney disease, cancer, and liver disease
~ Eliminate chronic fatigue, trouble sleeping, and stomach ulcers
~ Reduce stress and prevent fatigue
~ Treat prostate cancer

reishi

2. CHAGA MUSHROOM POWDER
HELPS TO…
~ Slow ageing (Chaga Mushrooms are thought to be the elusive fountain of youth!)
~ Fight against cancerous growths and cancer cells. The presence of betulinic acid inhibits growth of tumors, kills off tumor tissues as well as tumor cells
~ Create general feelings of well being and increase the life span
~ Heal injuries and rashes when applied on skin
~ Treat gastritis, tuberculosis and ulcers
~ Provide an anti inflammatory effect, stimulate metabolism in brain tissues, prevent cancerous growths and boost life energy or “chi”.
~ Effectively help you get rid of kidney stones and sand.
~ Combat hormonal imbalance, HIV, diabetes and immune deficiencies.

chaga

 

FACT: The combination of the two can make you one killer Opera singer. 😉

Where to get them?

I ordered these two products on Amazon. The bags are small, but it’s important to know that when consuming any type of Super Food that a little bit goes a long way! I use a teaspoon of each every morning. Another important thing is to make sure that they are organic and 100% Reishi and Chaga with no other ingredients.

My Magical Morning Smoothie Recipe

1 Cup Mixed Berries

1 Cup Organic Spinach

2 Cups Water

1 Teaspoon Organic Chaga Mushroom Powder

1 Teaspoon Organic Reishi Mushroom Powder

10 Organic Raw Cacao Beans

1 Scoop JaktRx Vanilla Protein

raw cacao beans

^This is the Bag of Raw Organic Cacao Beans I have ^

Directions:

In a blender (I use my NutriBullet) add the mixed berries and spinach first. Then add water, Chaga Mushroom Powder, Reishi Mushroom Powder, Cacao Beans and Protein. Blend well. ENJOY!

WARNING: Side effects include feelings of energetic wakefulness often leading to “getting tons of shit done” and feeling like a million bucks!

With health and wellness,

~ LB