Control > Speed


Control is greater than speed.

The most basic form of this is, “You have to walk before you can run.”  Or think of it this way;  it doesn’t matter how fast your car is – you still have to stop, turn, slow down, and accelerate.  Speed (safe speed), therefore, comes as a function of excellent control.  That principle is highly applicable in CrossFit as well.

Therefore, the quality of our movement is important (control how we move).  If we want to get “in shape” or “more fit” we must prioritize our ability to control our movement.   Can you control your body in any position you put it in?  Can you control the weight on the barbell?  Often times we use speed when we lack the appropriate control necessary.  Can you think of movements you rush through? Do you use speed when you probably should be focusing on control?

This is a great opportunity to do a self evaluation and check how well you have control over your body.  Step one, ask yourself this question, “Am I aware how I’m moving?”  Do you actually understand how you are moving?  If not, there’s a good chance that you aren’t in control of those movements!  Use your air squat as an example.  Do you intentionally place your feet in position? Are you aware of your intra-abdominal pressure?  Do you know where your knees are in relation to your toes?  This list goes on.  Step one is awareness.  Apply this to other body weight movements and check your control; push ups, lunges, warm up stretches.

Step two is being intentional.  If your “default” mode is sub-optimal movement patterns, you will need to retrain your body by being intentional with quality movement patterns; and that doesn’t happen by accident.  It takes focusing on the movement – and slowing it down – and that’s where control comes in!  Slow and controlled!  Once that becomes easier, then you can start adding speed into the equation.  Walk before running.  Learn to drive slowly before racing you car.  It has to be in that order.  For your safety, for your efficacy, and for improving your fitness.  Learn about how you move. Control how you move. Add speed to your movements.

Control > Speed

10 Habits to Stop Having


KCI Community,  

I’m not sure about you but I’m a huge fan of podcasts.  They are a great way to learn new things, reinforce good habits, and deepen your expertise.  One of my regular podcasts is Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron.  He is a prolific CrossFit Coach and Affiliate Owner.  I think he has a lot of good knowledge to share, even if you don’t CrossFit. 

I encourage you to listen to a recent podcast of his regarding habits, and specifically habits to NOT do.  Whether or not you agree with all of his suggestions, you get a sense that he lives by a clear set of principles and guidelines.  Below are my notes I took while listening to the podcast (so the text below is my interpretation and not his words)  I encourage you to listen to the full podcast by clicking the link below and taking your own notes.

 Fitness Habits.  Fitness Goals. CrossFit. Healthy Habits. Health and fitness habits.  Health Goals.  Self Improvement. Fitness Coach. Personal Training. Life Coach. 

 

10 Habits You Should Stop Having: Ben Bergeron

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chasing-excellence/id1170629044?mt=2&i=1000412054360

 

Here are my notes: 

Don’t hit the snooze button.  By hitting snooze, you are procrastinating the very first task of the day: simply wake up.  What are the actual sleep benefits of 9 more minutes in bed?  Negligible.  Set the alarm for the time you actually want to wake up, and hold yourself accountable. 

Don’t get mad in traffic.  You can’t control it, so don’t let it make you angry.  

Don’t show up late.  Your time is just as valuable as everyone else’s, and showing up on time sends the message that you value others’ time as much as yours. (Always makes me think of Fast Times @ Ridgemont High…Spicoli) 

Don’t tolerate gossip.  Gossip erodes trustworthiness.  

Don’t watch the “news”.  Politics, Hollywood, social media, etc.  These are all forms of entertainment and their job is to grab and hold onto your attention.  There are far more productive things you can spend your time on than the “news”. 

Don’t pass judgement, don’t criticize.  Let’s not pretend that we have all the answers, because we don’t. 

Don’t eat and scroll (on your phone) if you’re with others.  If you are looking at your phone, you are sending the message that what’s on the phone is more important than the other person. 

Don’t look at email before lunch.  Put the most important things first.  Email (for many of us) can be a major distraction.   For heaven’s sake, don’t wake up and check email first thing. 

Don’t leave dishes in the sink.  Stay uncluttered and finish what you started.  

Don’t wait for perfect.  “Jump and grow wings on the way down.”  The first iPhone didn’t even have a calculator.  Just go and do it!

Gratitude & Grit | The History


 

 

By now you’ve seen our Core Values are Gratitude & Grit, and hopefully you’ve taken a look at what that means us us.  If not, you can read about it HERE.  What makes these values so special to us is the way they came about and the story behind it.  

The hashtag #gratitudeandgrit came from a random Facebook post, on a random Thursday in June after an open-gym session.  We immediately knew the slogan rang true for the members of KCI.  But it took a few months to realize that Gratitude and Grit were the perfect Core Values for us.  

A little background on the post:

Holly is a 2.5 year CrossFit veteran.  She’s one of the most dedicated people when it comes to attending class.  She sacrifices more than many people know to get to the gym regularly.  Yet she has her own struggles.  (You’ll read those soon)  And she has a great perspective on life.  

There’s a member at KCI who was diagnosed with cancer and started treatments in February of 2017.  Other than the days immediately following her treatments, she rarely missed a workout.  She came in to her normal class times and modified the exercises she couldn’t do, or shouldn’t do.  She never complained.  She was always encouraging to others.  She always worked as hard as she could. To simply call it inspiring would be a grievous understatement.  It was awe-inspiring and near miraculous to see her in the gym from February – September.  

Here’s Holly’s post from that Thursday in June.  It’s short, raw, and laced with emotion:

Reality check: showed up at the gym this morning, a little whiny, feeling tired, having cramps (tmi? sorry), gonna workout because I have to, not because I want to but not very motivated.

Decide to make up a partner WOD I missed yesterday and at the last moment, another lady comes in so I actually have a partner. My partner is fighting stage 4 breast cancer, still a CrossFit badass, lost a freaking fingernail during the workout (side effect of chemo), apologized to me (um, really?), threw on a pair of gloves to keep the blood under control, and KEPT GOING, LIKE A BEAST.

Suddenly I was embarrassed that I whined about my cramps and I was ashamed for feeling tired today. She’s an amazing athlete, has a stellar attitude, and is most definitely kicking cancer’s ass.      #GratitudeandGrit

Knowing the hearts of both of these women, that hashtag rang out like a shotgun in my head.  It clicked, it just made sense.  Gratitude and Grit.  It’s so simple.  Yet, so hard.  It’s what we are striving for, and it’s how we are living right now.  These values are lived out and cultivated in the smallest moments in life.  The small, seemingly insignificant moments can be the most powerful when building character.  KCI CrossFit is a place to live out and cultivate Gratitude & Grit! 

It is our wish that every member of KCI CrossFit lives with these values close to their heart.  And it is our mission to develop and cultivate Gratitude and Grit within all of our members.

If you’re on a fitness journey, we’re here to help!

 

Gratitude & Grit – Our Core Values


KCI CrossFit was built to bring people together and provide a framework for them to create the happiest and healthiest version of themselves.  We collectively agree that we are striving to be the best version of ourselves and that we are committed to that pursuit today, next year, in 10 years and in 60 years.  We welcome newcomers into our community and treat them like family.   As a community of like-minded individuals, it became apparent that a common set of values and norms were needed.  A compass to help guide us.  A road-map to follow.

  #GratitudeAndGrit


Gratitude & Grit Core Values

Let’s use an analogy to understand why the Core Values are important and how they affect our overall health and fitness “journey” to creating the happiest and healthiest versions of ourselves.  

To create the healthiest and happiest versions of ourselves we need a vehicle to take us on the “journey,” and we need a road to drive on.  

Our mentality of Gratitude & Grit is the vehicle.  And our habits/actions are the roadway.  Habits with our lifestyle, work, sleep, nutrition, and exercise are the major components that make up the roadway.  KCI CrossFit strives to provide the roadway, the path we can take to lead a healthy and happy life.  What we are also trying to provide is a tune-up, check-up, and upgrade to the vehicles we are driving.  A refining of our mindset; and an owner’s manual on how to drive the car.  

Gratitude & Happiness

Happiness isn’t a destination. It’s not around the corner or on the other side of a difficult situation.  That’s a hard truth we’ve had to realize.  We must chose to be happy, wherever we are because the journey never ends.  And this is the essence of gratitude.  Whether we’re talking about the “fitness journey” of losing weight or getting in shape, or the journey of life.  We won’t find lasting happiness at an arbitrary “end” destination.  

If I lose 20 pounds, I’ll be happy.  When I have 6-pack abs, I’ll be happy.  If I make $100k a year, I’ll be happy.  If I have 2 kids, I’ll be happy.  If I can buy a fancy car, I’ll be happy.  If I can retire and move to the beach, then I’ll be happy.  

These cultural norms are unfortunately not grounded in truth.  While achieving those goals may bring momentary excitement or happiness, it will be short lived.  Very soon, we will realign our goals and be striving towards the next “thing” without lasting happiness.  Always chasing a moving target!  

Conversely, cultivating gratitude yields happiness today and nurtures our capacity for happiness in the future.  Recognizing what’s already in our life that we can be grateful for.  Realizing the abundance that we already have and being thankful for it.  We are grateful for our spouses.  Our jobs.  Our safety.  Our freedom.  Our health.  And on!

Practicing Gratitude

Our attitudes are magnets.  Whatever we put out, we will attract.  Whatever we are looking for, we will find.  If we look for positivity, we will see it all around.  And if we see more positive in our lives, we will be generally happier.  And thus helping us achieve our primary goal:  creating the happiest and healthiest version of ourselves.  This is the core importance of gratitude in our lives.

What does Gratitude look like?  What are some of the actions of this mentality?  Well, here’s a few off the top of my head:

Gratitude means smiling.  Looking people in the eyes.  Active Listening.  High fives.  Being on time.  Using manners..  Encouraging words.  Lending a hand.  Working hard.  Never quitting.  Making sacrifices.  Saying “Thank You”.  Volunteering.  Just to name a few!

So, all that to say, gratitude is immensely important in our lives, and it’s importance translates to working out, our fitness goals, and overall health.  Gratitude is a mindset, and it’s also an action.  We live out our gratitude mindset through our daily actions.

Now, Grit.  Like Gratitude, Grit is a mindset that must be developed, and it’s also an action.  Developing grit doesn’t happen by chance.  It happens by doing; by taking action.  

What is Grit?

Grit is “getting knocked off the horse and getting back up.”  Grit is the willingness to try new things.  Grit is living outside your comfort zone.  Grit is building discipline.  Grit is accepting that failure is part of the process.  Grit is never quitting.  Grit is being resourceful.  Grit is making hard decisions.  Grit is making sacrifices.  Having grit means living with integrity.  Living with grit means having persistence when things get hard.  Having grit also means we don’t make excuses.  We could go on!

Grit in the gym means all of those things!  Results don’t just happen, and there aren’t shortcuts.  Hard work, persistence, integrity, and failure are all necessary parts of the process – whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or build confidence.  You see, to change our bodies we must push outside of our comfort zone mentally and physically.  We must make sacrifices.  We must find a way when the way forward is unclear!  Developing and practicing grit is at the core!

Cultivating Gratitude & Grit  @ KCI

KCI CrossFit is a place to cultivate grit.  We require hard work and persistence.  We are putting daily disciplines into practice.  We are parents, business owners, employees and we are making sacrifices to achieve goals in all areas of our life.  KCI CrossFit is a training ground to apply grit into all other areas of our lives.  Working out is hard.  CrossFit is hard.  We learn the basics, practice them and become better!  And therefore, cultivating grit helps us become the healthiest and happiest version of ourselves.  

Bringing Gratitude and Grit together is our recipe for success.  As a fitness community, we rally around a common goal and come together.  We encourage and challenge each other.  We have high expectations and hold each other accountable.  We celebrate successes and stick together when things get hard.  We are a family!  

5 Realizations from 7 months of CrossFit


 “I started CrossFit last September.  I’ve learned a few things along the way.”

1. It’s not what I thought it was. I thought it would be bad for my knees and hard on my shoulders. I’m more mobile and flexible now. I thought there would be big sweaty brainless jocks grunting through the gym. CrossFit is for normal people. 
2. It’s good for my brain. Every single workout is different and I love the variety. My coach has patiently broken down all the movements and scaled back to my ability and strength level. There’s alot of terminology to learn and I’m doing work I never thought I’d be capable of a year ago. 
3. It’s good to feel vulnerable because through effort and persistence there is growth. I had to shed my “I’ve been active all my life and I know alot about working out” attitude and get busy learning something totally new. It made me realize that I might need to get better at other things in my life I thought I was good at. I realized I like learning and growing and becoming better at something. 
4. It’s hard- really hard. But so very rewarding. 
5. I’ve only scratched the surface of what I’m capable of doing. I have a long way to go but I’m excited to get to work. 
The point of all this is that my gym, KCI CrossFit, is offering free classes to moms all this week in honor of Mother’s Day. Please join me for a class this week and check it out for yourself!

The Voice In Your Head


 

By definition, the ego is comparative.  It compares us to other people or circumstances around us.  It causes us to define ourselves based on what is going on with other people, objects and places.     Which, left unchecked, can be a very bad thing.  If you are solely defined by outside forces (people, places, objects) the results can be catastrophic.  The good news in this whole debacle is that you can have control over your ego!  You can!  It starts with recognizing the situations and thoughts that are egocentric and making an effort to change. 

Easier said than done?  Let’s start by highlighting a few ego statements to recognize where your ego takes over in the gym.  Then we can make progress!

 

“I used to be able to ____, so I should be able to _____ today”

Fill in the blanks.  Coming back from an injury?  Remembering how fit you were in high school?  Looking at pictures before you had kids?   You are comparing yourself today to a version of you that doesn’t exist anymore – and never will exist again.  That is our human condition.  Nothing stays the same forever, including our bodies and health.  It’s a hard reality to grasp, but we all need to come to terms with this truth.  Comparing our performance in the gym today to how we were 10 years ago needs to stop.  You cannot change yesterday, only today.  Do your best today; give 100% effort.  And then do it again tomorrow.

“I’m too out of shape to ______”

As a fitness professional, this is one of the most saddening excuses to hear.  Yes, you might be too out of shape to do a muscle up or handstand push-up but you are not too out of shape to START.  Whatever “shape” you are in, you must begin somewhere if you need to change.  I know paralyzed men that work hard every day to just lift their hands.  They are not too out of shape to try.  And neither are you.  You just need to start somewhere, period.  What your ego is telling yourself is, “I’m not good enough.”  If you have ever told yourself this statement and haven’t done anything about it, please get in touch with us.  We want to help.

“I should be setting PR’s every day”

No.  The answer is no.  This ego trip will get you hurt.   If you throw a temper tantrum when you miss a PR attempt or cuss out your shoes when you don’t hit your one mile time, you need to check this ego at the door.  Strength and conditioning, technique, and body awareness take time.   Pushing the limits can be a great thing, but it’s not the only thing.  During your training your body goes through ups and downs, peaks and valleys.  That’s why our programming includes recovery time and cycles.  Every day will not be your best, and you need to be ok with that.  Again, give 100% today.  Many of the strongest athletes even reset their “PR” every year to remain grounded. 

“I’ve been going to the globo/planet/world/open24/7 gym for years and I’m in great shape.  I’m frustrated and angry that I can’t _______”

This is a very common and sneaky ego trip.  It’s like saying, “I’m a great basketball player.  I’m frustrated I’m not a good football player.”  Obvious, right?  Not always.  Guys are especially prone to this one.  They’ve been programmed that bicep curls and tricep extensions are markers of “good” fitness.  But get into a CrossFit box and you will quickly find out that fitness is defined VERY differently for CrossFitters.  Yes you need strong biceps and pectoral majors, but there’s a lot more to being fit than just strong muscles.  Leave this attitude at the door and you will find yourself growing, learning, and progressing faster than you can imagine.

“I’m not going to do CrossFit until I get in shape”

What??  I don’t understand this.  CrossFit is a highway to drive to achieve and maintain fitness – not a destination to end up at.  You’ve been misinformed by media or other people that you must be super sexy to start CrossFit.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  This thought process is a symptom of “I’m not good enough” ego that you need to let go of. 

“I’m injured so I can’t do anything”

Yes, if you are injured you shouldn’t be doing much.  But there is almost always something you can do.  Similar to the “I’m not going to CrossFit until I get in shape” ego.  There is always something you can be doing, and if your CrossFit coach is worth two cents, they can help you discover things you can do.  (And always consult your doctor, obviously)

“I’m not as strong/fast/lean/sexy as __(other person)___”

One of the most common ego trips we have.  In and out of the gym, our culture is immersed in this egotistic mind-warp.  Novels can be written about this topic, but to keep it short;  Stop doing this.  Especially in the gym.  The beautiful part about CrossFit is that with consistent training, this part of your ego will lessen and become more mature.  Talk to the oldest person in your box, gain some perspective.  In CrossFit, you are only competing with yourself; so make each day better than the one before. 

“I’m not losing/gaining fast enough”

At some point in time you decided for yourself how long it would take to change your weight/size/shape.  But how did you come up with the timetable?  Did you consult a professional? Or multiple professionals?  What about your nutrition? Your sleep? Your hydration?  I’m just putting it out there, but there is a good chance your timetable is either 1) inaccurate or 2) completely unrealistic.  Just because you have a wedding in 2 months, doesn’t make it a realistic goal to lose 30 pounds to fit into a dress.  Please, take a realistic look at your goals and talk to people who know what they’re talking about.  You should ask at least 2 other people help you set your goals. 

“CrossFit is a cult.”

Get over yourself.  If that seems harsh, sorry I’m not sorry.  There’s also a good chance you suffer from one (or more) of the ego statements we’ve listed already.  I’ll admit CrossFit training isn’t for everyone.  But it is designed so that anyone can CrossFit.  Get it?  Communities are built with like minded people – whether that’s a book club, church, business, music group, or CrossFit box.  Our lives our richer and fuller because of the communities we are involved in, and CrossFit is a great way to get active in a community.  The statement that CrossFit is a cult is ignorant and immature. 

“I’m injured.” “CrossFit injured me.”

The final result of our ego taking control. These statements come after one or more of these ego statements run rampant in your training.  If you train too hard, with poor form, with inappropriate workouts, you can injure yourself.  But don’t blame “CrossFit.”  You have control over your training.  You need to take responsibility for your actions and workouts.  Ask more questions before you get injured.  Scale the intensity back.  Use lighter weight.  Spend more time on technique.  Be more patient with the process.  And yes, there is a chance of injury.  There always will be.  The only surefire way to not risk an injury is to sit on the couch and eat cheese balls.  Just don’t roll an ankle walking to the fridge. 

Stay humble, and check your ego at the front door.