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Living Fearlessly

Vivamus Impavidus = Live Fearless

(repost written by Coach Conan 2011)

What does it mean to live without fear? What would it feel like to be unafraid of living life to its fullest?

fearlessLiving without fear is a choice. Barring any serious mental/physical illnesses, YOU are in control of your emotional/physical well being. And, YOU can control your fears.

Life is meant to be enjoyed not lamented. We named our gym Impavidus because we want our athletes and our community to approach life without fear. Don’t fear failure. Don’t fear defeat. The risk is worth it. The reward is generally equal to the risk of the challenge.

This nutrition reset that we are doing is risky. You risk raising the level of your health and fitness. You risk getting stronger, faster, and leaner. It’s worth the risk. Don’t fear this challenge. Embrace it. Embrace whatever fears are holding you back from really making a paradigm shift in your life.

This challenge isn’t just about eating correctly (whatever that really means). It’s about living your life in balance, and not being afraid in taking ownership of the lifestyle choices you make on a daily basis. We will all make poor choices sometimes. The secret is to not fear the possibility that you won’t eat perfectly and that you won’t make it to every workout. Look fear in the face and tell it to eff off. You are in charge. If you fall, then stand up, and move forward without fear that you will overcome every obstacle.

What does it mean to live without fear? What would it feel like to be unafraid of living life to its fullest? Only you can answer those questions. Get after it. Find out for yourself.

Now, About that Cheat Meal…

How’s it going as we head into our 2nd week?

I can tell after reading some of the posts, some of you went ahead and took your rightfully earned ‘cheat meal’, enjoyed it —  while others decided to forgo. There is NO right or wrong — you have to find what works for you! The question you need to ask yourself is what type of person am I?

  • You can enjoy that cheat meal and move on – it is what it is and worth the splurge. But, that’s all it is — a one time splurge.
  • That cheat meal has the real potential to restart the engine and completely derail you and it will be that much harder to get back on the track.

conanFor those that indulged:  Make sure to think about some of the  undesired consequences you may have experienced -  maybe you had some bloating, slept poorly, felt sluggish and slow afterward, fatigue and/or had a bad stomach. I know a few of you  mentioned that you just didn’t enjoy it as much as you thought. These are important things to remember and can be used when making nutritional decisions.

And for some of you –you have never felt this way before. Think about the last time in your life that you went without grains or dairy.  I know before I went “paleo” — it was um…NEVER. We are all told that whole grains and dairy are the staple of any good diet and we have eaten them almost since day one. Getting through WEEK 1, dairy and gluten/grain free has allowed your body to detox a bit –and you can now be aware of how your body SHOULD feel and how it DOES feel once you reintroduce some of these foods (for those of you that did ‘cheat’).

I have seen a few of you at the gym the past few days –and I can see the changes happening! You are looking slimmer, you are getting stronger, and you have shared with me that you have more energy.  Why would you stop now? It’s only the FIRST WEEK — can you imagine how much this will rock at week 3?

This week — pay attention to some of your triggers and how you react to them.

  • Where are you when you crave that certain something?
  • What are the choices you can make?
  • What are the pressures you face while making them?
  • Is it worth it?
  • Do I really want that or am I trying to mask something else (are you thirsty? are you tired? are you upset?)

For many of us (myself included), eating is emotional and when we are able to identify those moments – we can begin to change the habits!

One day at a time –that’s all it takes!

Everyday Choices

Remember, the required workouts are about intention, not intensity. It is great to keep those CrossFit workouts that you are doing, but on the days you would normally consider rest days, put 10 minutes towards your fitness with something light, but that keeps you focused on health and fitness as a daily habit. A short jog, some sit ups, yoga class, a relaxed bike ride, a pick-up basketball game — anything that has you moving daily.

I want you to think about the choices you make each and every day — 

Are you constantly complaining about your job? Your body? Your significant other? Your friends? Your life? I’m guessing that many of you are highly motivated people who “get it” about making choices in life. And I recognize that not every person’s life is black and white.  You are responsible for your own life. How do you measure your happiness and success in your life? I measure mine in the percentage of time that I have dedicated each day to doing things that I feel 100% are my choice. I’d say that around 80-90% of the time these days, I’m doing things that feed my soul and make me happy. That doesn’t mean they’re not work, but I enjoy doing them and recognize that I’ve chosen to do them.

On an everyday basis, would you consider yourself happy?
Do you live for the weekends?
Are there some days you dread waking up?

These questions get to the heart of the choices you make every day to live a life that you choose. This isn’t to say that there might not be a few things here or there in a day that you need to accomplish that aren’t your favorite tasks (maybe it’s a tough conversation with your boss or some chores at home), but in general, do you feel you are in control of your days? Brian Tracy, one of my favorite motivational speakers, states in his Psychology of Achievement series that “we feel good about ourselves to the exact degree to which we feel we are in control of our own lives.” Does this resonate with you? Do you feel that your life is directed or driven by outside forces that you don’t control? Psychologists refer to this as your locus of control. Is yours internal or external? Do you feel you’re driving your life or that your life and everyone or everything in it is driving YOU?

Clearly this post has more questions than answers. I want to challenge people to really think about what it is that they choose to do every single day and whether or not those actions contribute to their happiness or to their feeling of stress, anger or disappointment in life. We only get one life to live and are life is short, so what’s keeping you from making some different choices to have a life that you feel you’re in control of every single day?  It may even be as simple as asking if you NEED that latte every day—

 Robb Wolf puts it well when he writes in “The Paleo Solution,” (if you don’t already own this book, you really should!):
“stress is an inescapable and significant factor in people’s lives, and a stunning amount of their stress is self-induced. People might benefit from considering how they want to spend their time and resources… If you are attached to a bunch of crap that requires you to work ungodly hours to pay for it, you are missing something… If you have weight or health issues, work yourself to death, have a closet full of clothes you never wear, and a house full of crap you never use, then maybe you need to do some thinking about how you approach your life.”

Robb was talking about our attachment to “stuff” there, but I would venture to guess that much of the stress we put on ourselves to “achieve” more, or “succeed” more is largely because of a desire to get more stuff. What’s the stuff really worth anyway? Most of the time, it tends to control us rather than us controlling it. It’s the reason why we are bound to jobs we hate or relationships from which we don’t remove ourselves. Unbind yourself from the stuff and start driving your own life rather than it driving you.

excerpts from Balanced Bites.

Remember: You weren’t put on this Earth to go at someone else’s pace, to be less than you can be. So don’t be less. Don’t cheat your own strength.

A Good Night’s Sleep

One of the benefits of better nutrition is sleeping better!

Many people find that when they give up the processed foods –the start to get the best sleep of their lives.

So, let’s talk about the various benefits of good sleep as well as the impact of bad sleep.  As you can see from the awesome graphic above (thank you Julien Smith), not getting enough sleep has drawbacks that go way beyond feeling sleepy or spending too much at Starbucks. From increased weight to risk of disease and early death, not getting enough sleep has deeper implications than lack of productivity or mood swings.  Most people do not sleep enough.  Unless you are one of the few “short sleepers” out there (people who actually, truly only need 5-6 hours of sleep per night), an optimal night’s sleep is somewhere in the range of 7-9 hours.

Some of the ways that you can help to ensure deeper and better sleep is to follow some simple recommendations of sleep specialists and get your sleep “hygiene” in order:

  • “This bed is just right.” Keep your room and bed comfortable and inviting — cool, with enough blankets to stay warm.
  • Do I need to spell it out? Make the bed off-limits to anything other then bed-sanctioned activities — you know what these are.  There are only 2, sleep is one, and the other doesn’t primarily involve TV or a book.
  • Lights out! Make your room as dark as humanly possible. Heavy drapes, no light from digital clocks, sleep masks.  Whatever it takes to eliminate all light from the room — primarily blue light (the light from your computer screen is blue).
  • Soundproof your sleep. Anything that produces white noise (fan, air purifier, white noise machine) will help to drown out ambient sounds that could wake you.
Actions to take:
  • Have a sleep routine — bedtime at the same time every night.  Train your system that it is winding down.
  • Get sunlight during the day, and make sure to exercise — just not right before bed, especially strenuous exercise within a few hours of bed.
  • Avoid spicy foods or caffeine within several hours of bed.  Same goes for alcohol or nicotine — they may feel like they help you fall asleep, but the quality of your sleep will be poor.
  • Only take naps if you are not getting a full night’s sleep — otherwise they may make falling asleep harder.
If you have trouble falling asleep, some of the recommendations from a sleep study done found that 4 simple rules helped insomniacs (yes, they were all senior citizens, but you can give it a try too) improve their sleep patterns: 1) Stay in bed less (sleep time + 30 minutes, but no less than 6 hours), 2) get up at the same time each day, 3) do not go to bed unless you are tired, and 4) do not stay in bed if you can’t fall asleep.
All other things being equal, better sleep, better life; more sleep, more life. Who would really want to argue with it?  Now, many people find it difficult with the demands of family and work actually to get that much sleep. Just think, however, how many things you have taken on in this challenge that were “impossible” up until now.  All major changes take place in increments, so don’t feel like you have to master this tomorrow, but being open to that there actually is a solution for you will have you on the lookout for it. If there is no answer, you’ll never find it.

Food is Fuel, Food is Fuel

If you sign up for almost anything, take it on earnestly, and diligently follow the rules, you will almost always see great results.  As long as you stick to it, the change WILL come for you.

One thing this reset will mean is changing your relationship to food, especially carbohydrates. You see, carbohydrates are a drug. Your body reacts to them like it reacts to a drug, and carbs are just as hard to quit.  And because it’s like a drug — many of us act like Cookie Monsters when eating them! Inhaling carbs mindlessly because they make us feel comfortable and taste so good!

A lot of us have emotional connections to certain foods, or go to food in times of stress or as a reward for good behavior. To our mind, that cookie is a treat for getting through a tough day at the office; to our body, it’s just more sugar in the blood and wood on the fire. Because that’s what food is, after all: fuel.

When you get those cravings in the first couple weeks (and you WILL get them), just remember: it’s only fuel. That cookie won’t actually make you feel better. Sticking with the program and seeing results will. When you see food as an energy source (albeit a delicious one!), you can change your relationship to it. And when you change your relationship to food – the results will last a lot longer than thirty days!

So say it with me, all together now: “FOOD IS FUEL!”

Thanks for the Drop In

Feb 2013

I dropped in with you guys Wednesday night last week for the 20 min. AMRAP and wanted to say thanks!  You guys have an awesome facility and your members were cool and welcoming.  I think Jess? (Jessica?) was the trainer and I like how she ran the class – enough warm up to be legit and relevant to the movements in the WOD, without so much dumb stuff that it gets annoying.  I’ve visited a handful of boxes while on the road and yours is definitely one of the best…clean, spacious and obviously very well run.  Tell your folks to visits us at Crossfit Charlottesville when they are down this way.



What’s The WOD?

We post our WODs over at Beyond The Whiteboard!




If you want to see what the WOD is…then you GOTTA go to that site.  The WODs will post the same time each night (7pm ish).

If you have an iPhone, there is a cool app for the site. Search for it in the app store.  There is an Android version coming soon.  Go to the site. Log your results.  Let the coaches give you feedback and comments.  You can’t measure your successes…unless you are measuring :-)


Storm Cancellation Update 3.6.13

Based on the storm forecast, we are going to run the morning classes. All classes after the 930A are cancelled. We will post again if anything changes… Stay safe and don’t risk your safety!

Endurance Workshop: March 23

All of us have been exposed to running at one time or another and most Athlete’s have a strong opinion about running; you either love it or hate it. But did you know that there is a skill to running efficiently and effectively?


Join Coach Nate as he introduces our athletes to the POSE Running technique.

  • Learn the details behind POSE as well as the drills and skills that can bring your running to the next level.
  • Understand the reasons why Pose running is effective
  • Begin the process of transforming your running form.

When: March 23, 2013 12P-2P
Who: All Athletes can benefit from this workshop introducing you to the POSE Running technique

Cost: $25 (Platinum members 50% off)
How: Register! 

Bring your own stopwatch if you can!

transition Tri

Also: Transition Triathalon will be on hand to provide demo shoes to try–mostly Newton and Merrell!

March Workshops at CrossFit Impavidus

pull upSunday, March 3:  Pull Up Workshop

The Kip Swing is a integral skill that is applied to many movements in CrossFit. With a proper kip swing pull-ups (chin or chest to bar), knees to elbows and toes to bar become nearly effortless (well at least easier!).  No matter what your skill level, everyone can benefit from learning how to kip! Time permitting we’ll even review the bar muscle-up (a great progression to a ring muscle-up).
Skills we will review will include:
  •    Kipping Pull ups
  •    Butterfly Pull ups
  •    Toes to Bar
  •    Knees to Elbow
  •    Bar Muscle ups (time permitting)

Register Today!

Date: Sunday, March 3
Time: 12pm – 2pm
Cost: $25 (Platinum members 50% off)

Workshops are open to all Members though space is limited. Don’t wait!