CrossFit

How I love CrossFit More By Loving It Less

I’ve been an athlete my whole life.  Softball, basketball, volleyball, track.  What can I say? I was born to sweat.  I’m a go-getter.   I love busting my butt and being successful.  I’ll be the first to admit I tend to get OCD about somethings, and my workouts were no exception.

CrossFit is easy to get addicted to.  I’m sure you’ve all heard the jokes…it’s a cult…don’t drink the cool-aid etc; etc;  I can’t deny this.  CrossFit is addicting.  I’m grateful for it, though.  It brought a new light to my life.  It guided me down the path of positive body image.  But, in reality, addictions (in any shape or form) are not healthy. Which is exactly why I’m happy to say I love CrossFit more by loving it less.

Since moving, I’ve had this overwhelming feeling of peace.  It comes from the whole Doing What You Love, Loving What You Do thing.  I’ve reached this point where I don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone, in my career or my sport.  And it’s because I’m happy.  In the past, I had always felt pressured.  A stressful work environment, a stressful gym environment.  When constantly surrounded by competitive people, it’s hard to not fall to pressure.  However, finding the strength to focus on you, and I mean genuinely focus on you, is vital.

Which is exactly how I was able to love CrossFit less.  Instead of obsessing over getting to the gym after a 10 hour workday, forcing my body to push through the pain, I now go for fun.  I don’t stress over PRs, I don’t stress over finishing first.  Didn’t RX the workout?  Oh well.  I’m still  getting a kick ass workout.

 In the end, I’ve got a happy body and a happy mind.

Why You Don’t “Have To” Work Out

 

Disclaimer: I am in no shape or form saying that you should not work out.  I (obviously) am passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle and understand the full benefits of getting your sweat on.

That being said, you don’t have to work out.

I have always loved to sweat.  From softball to basketball to volleyball to track, being an athlete is a part of who I am. I’ll be the first to admit that I can get carried away and obsessive about sweating.  I’m a passionate person and when I dedicate myself to something, I give it my all.  This isn’t exactly healthy, though.

My biggest lesson in the past year is if your place/form of sweat is causing you stress, you’re doing it wrong.  Your workouts should be stress relievers, not stress endusers.

Like I said earlier, I’m a passionate person.  My sweat life has a history of getting the best of me and taking over.  First it was running, and then it was CrossFit.  You refuse to miss workouts.  You assume you’ll be weaker by taking another rest day.  You must push through the pain. It’s easy to think you’re being healthy, because, hello, you’re working out.  Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I’ve been there.  You give your workouts your all because they make you feel good.  They help you escape.  They help you feel good.  But how good do you really feel if your workouts are controlling you and not the other way around?

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to work out.  Still sore even after a day of rest? Focus on stretching. (Yoga is just as important as lifting!)  You didn’t PR today?  That does not mean you’re weak.  Not every day is going to be PR day.  In my post Why You Should Step Outside Your Fitness Zone, I talked about the value of switching up your sweat routine.  Well, I’ve taken my advice and have been spreading the love.  And you know what?  I feel healthier than ever.  I may not be making the same gains I was in CrossFit, but I’m not beating myself up over it.

If you ask me, that’s what working out is all about.  Getting your sweat on. Having fun. Feeling good.

Sweat Schedule

SWEAT SCHEDULE

Happy Sunday!

One way to make sure you fit (see what I did there?) sweat time into your schedule is by planning for it.  As you read in my Motivation Monday: Get Organized post, I write down where I’m sweating for the week in the planner.  And now, I’ll be dedicated to sharing my upcoming sweat schedule with you every week.
Sunday: 3 mile run with Pood
Monday: SuMMit CrossFit at 3 PM
Tuesday: 2 mile run
Wednesday: Warm Vinyasa Flow at Asheville Community Yoga 6:30 to 7:45 
Thursday: Spin Class at Asheville Racquet Club 9 AM, Bikram Yoga with Lex at Bikram Yoga Asheville 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Friday: Tower 1 at Pure Pilates with Meagan 8 to 8:50 followed by Gentle Flow with Michael at Asheville Community Yoga 9:30 to 11.
Saturday: Rest Day
 
Happy Sweating!

Why You Should Step Outside Your Fitness Zone

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I am having the happiest of Hump Days since I started my morning with a challenge: my first pilates class at Pure Pilates.  I was awful.  It was fabulous.

Being a planner and avid organizer, I am all about routine and structure.  However, it can be easy to get stuck in your comfort zone. I’ll be the first to admit that I hate change.  But, with change comes growth, and let’s admit it: we all have room to grow.

In the past, I’ve been known to get caught up in my fitness routines.  We’ve all been there: obsessing over workouts, knowing your way of sweating is the best way, and pushing yourself to improve in your sport.  Exercise should be used as a means to bring balance to your life.  Unfortunately, obsessions (no matter the shape or form) will do anything but create balance.

Being a passionate person, I tend to become a perfectionist, even in my sport.  Instead of being perfect at the sport, I’d rather use the sport to create the perfect (healthiest) me.   And let’s be real…not every sport offers it all.  That’s why I’ve decided to step outside my fitness zone.

For the past three years, CrossFit has been my love.  It’s allowed me to become physically and mentally stronger.  Unfortunately, I’ve let me flexibility (or lack there of) slip by.  I’ve always just accepted that I was inflexible.  (Side note: that’s totally not okay.)  My most recent achievement was being able to touch my toes. 

This morning, pilates opened my eyes to how unaware I am of my body.  I compensate lack of flexibility by using strength.  My favorite thing about stepping outside my fitness comfort zone is being humbled.  I know by continuing to step outside of it will only allow me to grow, especially in the sport I love.

Here’s three reasons to step outside your fitness zone:

1. Build New Strengths: each sport has something unique to offer. Stepping outside of your fitness zone will help you see where there’s room to grow.

2. New Communities: my favorite thing about trying out new boxes and studios is meeting new people.  Each community has it’s own special-something.  Plus, who doesn’t love making new friends?

3. Being Humbled: being humbled by a new sports allows me to recognize when I’m getting too obsessive with another.  It’s possible to strengthen and grow without being compulsive about it.  It’s okay to not be the best at everything.  

So here’s my advice: switch it up.  I promise your lifts won’t suck if you decide to go to yoga or pilates instead of pumping iron.  And adding a lifting sesh may help you perfect that crow pose you’ve been fighting for.  I’m by no means saying it’s possible to do it all.  But, I am challenging you to add something new to your fitness routine, even if it is just once a week.  Find a happy balance.  You’ll see improvement in both your sport and lifestyle. 

 

Throwback Thursday: Run, Devin, Run

Don’t worry…this post will not be filled with old school pictures of me.

Instead, this #tbt is dedicated to the revival of the runner inside of me.  This morning I registered for my very first half marathon:  The YMCA Mistletoe Run. All the proceeds go to supporting educational programs fighting childhood obesity, making this race the obvious choice for me.

I’ll be honest, running isn’t a struggle for me.  I can run miles upon miles at a steady pace.  Running my first half marathon is going to be more of a mental challenge than a physical one.  I mean, let’s be real…it’s going to be an automatic PR (all first time races are).  I’m more focused on staying positive during my runs and, well, not getting bored.
This time, I’m going to train for races the right way.  When I used to run track and cross country, the only training I had was running.  Yes, we went to the weight room, but all I did was a shit ton of sit ups and other abdominal movements.  Don’t get me wrong, I was a strong runner then.  But, my mind was weak. A big misconception is the only way to get better at running is to just run farther, faster and more.   Another (very unfortunate) misconception is that weight training will make you slower.  I feel beyond confident that strength training will only support my body in this new challenge. I’m ready to tackle my first marathon using CrossFit and yoga along with running.

Here’s a look at what my general training schedule will be. 

half marathon schedule

Of course my training will alter here and there based on my work schedule and, because, let’s face it: life just happens sometimes.

Also, being that my race isn’t until December 6th, I have some time until I start adding on my distance.  This gives me plenty of time to not only get into the groove of my schedule, but allow my body to bounce back after having my wisdom teeth removed (aka worst experience of my life…)

Have you ever ran a half marathon?  What advice do you have to offer?

Ready…set…run!

What To Look For In A Workout Partner

I’m all about group classes.  I love being around people who are sweating and working their asses off.  It’s motivational and inspiring.  Plus, it makes you feel better to know you’re not the only one getting your ass kicked by the workout.

I’ve tried the whole working out alone in the gym thing.  And you know what?  I found it totally boring.  I like being around people, so the social aspect of my workout keeps my mind sane while I’m pushing my body.

That being said, it’s important to surround yourself with the right people.  Working out shows you where your strengths are as well as your weaknesses.  For some, their weaknesses can be a sore spot.  It’s important to be around people who will life you up rather than tear you down.

Here’s what I think makes the perfect workout partner

1. You love the same sport.  Whether you’re bending, lifting or running together, you both share a love for the same activity.  Don’t try to force your significant other or bestie into doing what you love.  No one likes a negative nancy while they sweat.

2. You think win-win.  The perfect workout partner will be similar to you in strength, whether you’re out on a trail run, lifting weights or in a hot yoga class.  It makes pushing each other easier.  However, there is a big difference in competition and friendly competition.  For example, if find yourselves saying “I’m going to lift more,” or “I’m going to beat them,” you’re straight up competing with them. (Side note-don’t say this out loud.  You’ll sound like an ass.) Friendly competitors think more along the lines of “if they can keep going, I can keep going.”  Try thinking win-win instead of I’m going to win.

3. You have similar goals. It’s easy to motivate and push each other when you have similar goals.  You work on making progress together. You both value your time inside or outside (depending on your sport) because your end point is the same.  This is also where that friendly competition comes in.  It’ll push you that much more to reach your goal if you have someone working by your side.

4. You balance each other out.  Sure you may have some similar goals, but you will have different strengths and weaknesses.  Use them to help each other out.  Coach each other.  Have days where you work on your partners weakness, and days where together you work on yours.  Nobody is perfect.  Even if you are strong in one area, the continuous practice will make you that much stronger. Plus, nothing beats the feeling of helping someone else become stronger (physically or mentally).

5. Cheer each other on. Even when you can’t exactly breathe, you and your partner are still saying phrases like, “Come on!” and “You got it!” or “Almost there!”  Chances are you’re saying them super fast, as to get it all in one breath.  But you know what?  That right there is workout partner love.

Here’s the part in the post where I get to ramble about my fabulous sweat partners.

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This upside down bad-ass is Ansley.  She is without a doubt the best CrossFit partner I could ask for.  We push each other, help strengthen each other’s weaknesses and work towards similar goals.  Walking handstands…here we come!

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This blonde bombshell, Erin, sparked my love for yoga, and reignited my passion for running.  Together we pushed through challenging hot vinyasa classes and beasted some runs up awful hills. (LOL what were we thinking?!)  Thanks for the motivation, baby girl!

Workouts need to be motivating and fun.  If you’re workout partner sucks the fun out sweating, it may be time for a break-up.

Who do you love to sweat with?  Who keeps you motivated and having fun at the gym, in the studio or on the trails?