New Year- Same You

New Year— Same You

This year I urge you to believe that you are capable of achieving your goals.

Oftentimes we set new goals thinking “this is the year” I make it happen… I finally get disciplined, I finally do it “for me.” This kind of thinking is full of good intent and possibility BUT one thing really has to change in order for you to do something you’ve never done before.

That one thing is simply… Belief.
If you never change your beliefs about yourself, goals, and abilities- literally nothing will change. Your current beliefs have put you in the position you are today.

In order to see lasting change, we must identify our poor beliefs and change them (rewire our brain so to speak) OR we will be in the same boat at the beginning of 2023.

For example:
If you believe…
*The only way you’ll be happy is to lose weight… what you’ll find out- is if you get to that goal weight it doesn’t automatically make you happy. You’ll still experience sadness and frustration being X amount of pounds lighter.
*The only way to lose weight is to be on a strict diet and follow it 100%. This is what we call the “all or nothing” mentality. If perfection is what you expect of yourself- you won’t succeed. We are never going to be perfect. I give this example all the time to my clients: Let’s say you are in a groove with meal prep on Sundays (it is the one time you really prepare for the week and set yourself up for success.) What happens if it is Easter and you have a lot going on and you miss your meal prep time?
Do you think to yourself:
A. I didn’t have time… I guess it’s pizza tonight, Chick Fil A tomorrow, etc. The whole week of eating healthy is basically ruined.
OR
B. I didn’t get to meal prep yesterday like I normally do, so I must to go to the store today and cook tonight. If something happens again that night, do you give up? Or do you rally and do it the next day?
We cannot sustain any health protocol if we think we have to be perfect. In order to succeed, we must have balance and consistent structure of a healthy routine.

*If you believe your worth is tied to the scale. I know weight loss is important and we can easily believe that we are not working hard enough, being strict enough, disciplined enough, or perhaps we believe that something is wrong with us when we don’t see the scale budge. This goes back to point number one. Happiness is not found in the scale. If the scale ruins your day, causes you to binge on sweets, affects how you treat people around you… The scale is not the problem, your beliefs are. You don’t have to workout harder, be perfect everyday… you simply need to evaluate your beliefs and decisions.

You can ONLY reach your goals if your beliefs are in line with your goals.
The fact is if you are not willing to change a single thing, you won’t change. If you think you have to be someone you’re not to change, you won’t change.

You only get one life. One body.

Your body and Suzie’s body on the internet doesn’t react the same way to change.

Your body and diet #555 might not jive if it doesn’t align with your values, beliefs, and habits.

Oftentimes y’all we do not need anything shiny or new to accomplish what we want in life… we simply just choose to do it. We align our choices so that we can take steps toward our goals. And remember…

Your beliefs create your thoughts.
Your thoughts create your actions.
Your actions create your reality.

So I urge you this year to believe that you can achieve the things you want. And remember nothing is wrong with you. Your body isn’t broken. Assess your core beliefs and see what lies you are believing and after really thinking about it- begin to challenge yourself with new beliefs and find a healthy friend/coach to help keep you in this new mindset. Thoughts are powerful, “they can make a heaven out of hell and a hell out of heaven.” Choose wisely and go kick 2022 in the butt.
-Amanda

The X Factor: Self Discipline To Find Self Confidence

“Rome was not built in a day.” – John Heywood

This common adage should be repeated almost as a mantra in most of our minds. It perfectly describes how we should approach any goal. Remember, everything is a process and nothing of worth comes easy.

When you see a successful person, what is it that you are really seeing? Someone with a nice car, in great shape, a big home, a family taking extravagant trips, etc., but what you do not see are the efforts and discipline that person puts into their specific craft to create such a lush lifestyle. I would say the vast majority of these successful individuals could tell you about years of sacrifice. They could tell you about missing events, loss of friends, and having to ignore the criticism from those around them. But what sets them apart from the average Joe? Were they born with some “It” factor that makes them different from the rest of us? Absolutely not. In fact, I would argue that the answer to their success is actually quite simple. What these successful individuals have become masters of is known as self discipline. Self discipline is the “X” factor when it comes to success and once it has been implemented appropriately into your life, something crazy happens…..you develop self confidence. Through your trials you have found you can trust yourself. You know you will persevere no matter the obstacles. You know you cannot be deterred. You have found the key to the future you want. But how can we develop our own self discipline?

We tend to think of our lives as ever changing calendars, that we have little control over. We repeatedly say there isn’t enough time in a day, we assume that things will go according to how we planned them in our calendars and tend to forget that nothing is certain. Priorities change daily and with those changes comes confusion. Emotions can run high, anxiety sets in and the first items to be removed from our calendars are plans we made for ourselves. We make excuses to skip the gym. We accept a last minute invitation to go to the bar with a friend and drink too much. However, if you take a step back and add up enough of these inconsistencies, you are left with a person with potential who has come up short of their own goals. They have no confidence that they can stick to a decision and have therefore created a shell of the potential person that he or she could have been. But, the same is true if we go the other way…we can build our discipline…we can build our confidence.

No one is born with confidence. It is a learned mindset. For those of you that do not see yourselves as “confident” people, know that this can be changed. Confidence is built one self-promise at a time. For example, if we promise ourselves we are going to get up in the morning and not hit snooze and do just that, we have added a brick to our Rome. However, if we wake up and immediately break that self-promise by sleeping 10 more minutes, then we begin to build our lives around that forever looming uncertainty. That lack of belief in one’s own abilities will lead you nowhere. Fortunately, if you have the discipline to keep those small promises you make to yourself, you will begin to believe you can achieve much loftier goals.

How did they build Rome? One brick at a time. How do we get to the summit of Everest? With one step. How do we build wealth? With one thoughtful investment. How do we get fit? With one meal and one workout. You put enough steps together aimed in one direction, then one day you will reach the place you want to go.

So, how do you start? How do you gain self discipline? How do you build self confidence? One brick at a time…

-Coach Ryan

Cheers!

I often think of the theme of “Cheers” when it comes to SOPO.

The theme song goes, “making the way in the world today, takes everything you got. Taking a break from all your worries sure, would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away?…Sometimes you wanna go, where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, all of our troubles are the same. You wanna be where everyone knows your name.”

I believe we were made for community and relationships- which is why I love CrossFit. We were not meant to be alone. While the world tries to divide us, one thing remains the same and that is everyone wants to feel like they belong to something. I often think all the benefits working out in a community like ours brings…

*Real friendships
*Laughter
*Accountability
*Vulnerability- (Genuineness)
*Encouragement
*A break from worries, stress, etc.
*Improvement in mental clarity

For example, we had one member bring another member a Welcome Back balloon after he took too many rest days. We have members that will rearrange their schedules to workout with friends/spouses. We celebrate birthdays, small and big victories. We celebrate holidays and really want the best for each other.

At SOPO, everyone will know…
*Your Name
*Most likely your profession
*What you are best at when it comes to the workouts

On the other hand, Globo gym training (Anytime Fitness, Lifetime, etc)
*Could walk in and walk out without communicating with anyone
*Could spend way more time on phone than working out
*Could easily lose motivation
*Could be unsure of how to get results you desire
*Could be unsure if you are doing any movements correctly

The value of what you are getting in a community like ours, is something that is so much bigger than what people would expect. You’re getting friendships. Laughter. Acceptance. External motivation to become healthy. You’re getting consistent stress relief. Confidence. Strength (both internal and external). You’re getting guidance and direction. You’re becoming a better version of yourself.

At Sopo, during the hour workout you’ll notice that everyone is working hard and they often feel uncomfortable. Everyone has to adjust and learn how to adapt during the workout. We know that we are not alone in our struggles and pain yet we push through them and grow. When you are surrounded by people who don’t give up, it will begin to affect you, and the rest of your life in amazing ways.

So come, come to a place where everyone knows your name…and they are always glad you came!

Priorities -Fitness- Failure

Priorities -Fitness- Failure

Excuse me while I hop up on my soapbox for a moment. This will come off as a bit of a rant. It will jump around a bit which, if you know me, is to be expected. I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance if it does not read smoothly…but bear with me, there is a point to be made.

Priorities

Excuses are common.

Everyone is busy.

Everyone has a reason not to.

But…

Everyone is not you.

You have to find your reason “why”.

You have to take responsibility.

You have to make YOU a priority.

Priorities are commonly associated with objectives. Many of us, myself included, love to make lists. Go to the store, walk the dog, finish xyz for work, etc. However, unless that list includes something solely dedicated to bettering YOU, that list is incomplete. In my opinion, everyone should have a core set of priorities that are never changing. Our days are going to be inconsistent and with them, tasks will come in and out of our lives like acquaintances. We will meet these tasks, complete them, and send them on their way soon to be forgotten. However, our core set of priorities will always be there and need our focus. If these priorities go unmet, we suffer. Again, in my opinion, one of these essential priorities should always be fitness.

Fitness

Fitness is a broad term that encapsulates an array of potential actions. However, no matter your individual preference, all fitness based pursuits have one thing in common…they make you better. It is you taking responsibility for your health both physically and mentally. We challenge ourselves through fitness and therefore grow as individuals. It is a necessity. No well rounded, successful person in this world has a routine that does not include a consistent fitness regiment. If you want to be successful, healthy, and fulfilled, you MUST pursue fitness..

Here at Crossfit SOPO, we have made a choice on our fitness based journey to better ourselves through Crossfit. We prioritize ourselves through Crossfit, which we love as the never ending struggle…never to be beat, but always there for us to try and overcome. Crossfit is an amazing tool; as it will challenge you in ways you may have never considered and thanks to its variety, will force you to find your limits. You will fail constantly, which is okay. In fact, failure is necessary.
Failure

“The only failure is not trying.” – Robin S.Sharma

Failure is the key to finding out who you are. It highlights your weaknesses that will act as a map for you to find your ideal self. Too often are people discouraged by failure, when in fact, failure should be the objective. Failure is not to be avoided; it is there to help you learn and grow. Therefore, failure is the goal.

We have all heard this before and like most common sayings or expressions, most of us do not associate any emotional connection with them. But, I challenge you to truly think on what this specific adage actually encompasses. To never try is to never know. To never pursue, is to never grow (I’m coining that…). I would morbidly venture to assume that most people in this world do not feel fulfilled. This depression conjuring thought can usually be traced to individuals never having tried to pursue something that they felt might light that smothered flame of passion that resides un-stoked in most of us. This truth is crushing when you consider the potential ramifications. As humans, we have the fortunate but equally unfortunate burden of awareness regarding our own mortality. Many of us subconsciously emotionally link anxiety to our dreams and therefore bury them down deep until they are forgotten. What I am challenging you to do is remember those potential passions and dabble. Do not put pressure on yourself to succeed in your pursuits, but instead, allow the pursuit of your passions to be the success. Your emotions linked to those pursuits could suddenly bring you the joy, success and fulfillment you had always yearned for. You do not fail through failure, you progress. You only fail when you fail to dream; you only fail when you fail to act; you only fail when you fail to try.

So, to bring this all home, go try! Try in the gym! Try in your life! Fail a billion times and then fail a billion more times! Success is the pursuit. Put yourself first by setting those never ending priorities in your day to day life. Pursue fitness. Try something you have always wanted to and never stop. We only lose if we quit and quitting is never an option when it comes to our lives, our happiness, and ourselves.
-Coach Ryan

2 possible reasons you haven’t seen the results you wanted…

1. Sleep
2. You haven’t changed your eating habits

Sleep: 7-8 hours nightly; if you haven’t been able to sleep this much… you’ll see
*Performance and focus decrease significantly.
*Not recovering from workouts; incredibly sore.
*Not motivated to push hard- going through the motions
*Inability to gain muscle or lose weight

So then, what solutions could work? How do I get more sleep…
Sometimes it is a season of life that has us tied up; like young children, etc. In this case, if possible sleep when they sleep; take naps throughout the day.
In most other cases; we need to do better about establishing a consistent bedtime routine that involves winding down (without electronics) and being intentional about going to bed at a time that allows us for at least 7-8 hours. Right now we live in a very distracting world with phones, Netflix, endless kids sports practices, and games. However, we can evolve and grow by figuring out what we CAN CONTROL in our environment and do the very best we can to make sleep a priority. (I’m guilty of Youtube and before I know it, it’s past 10.) The thing is, until we both make it a priority- nothing will change.
If it is not a priority- don’t expect your results to magically happen. Most often, we have to change negative behaviors if we want to be our most optimal self.

Eating enough food; if you haven’t been or you are scared to… you’ll see
*Inability to sleep at night; fall asleep or stay asleep
*Recurring injuries and/or lingering injuries
*Not recovering from workouts; incredibly sore (one workout does you in)
*Hair loss, Digestive issues (constipation, bloating, etc…)
*Not ever getting a PR
*Inability to gain muscle or lose weight

Why is eating enough food important for reaching my goals?
*Many times we have to start with self reflection:
Do I skip breakfast, lunch or dinner on the regular?
Do I eat low calorie Monday-Thursday and then Fri-Sun all rules are broken and you eat whatever with no restraint?
About 90% of the people I start to work with nutrition are under-eating. Most of them are completely unaware. *9/10 people are dieting all the time and wonder why the scale doesn’t budge.

What happens when you eat enough to fuel your daily activity?
*Better sleep
*Better mood
*Better workouts
*Better recovery
*Better digestion
*Increased sex drive, basically your body becomes an efficient machine.
When you are providing your body ENOUGH FOOD you are GIVING IT ENERGY. Food is not good or evil or bad- it is energy. When you have enough energy coming in- your body in turn will start to BURN more fat instead of storing it for later use. Eating enough and working out increases your basal metabolic rate and you burn more at rest than you otherwise would be doing. Time and time again, I’ve given people MORE FOOD, enough food and they lose 15-20# and in turn gain a lot of lean muscle and strength.

So how do I know if I am eating enough or not?
*Check your biomarkers. Are you not sleeping well? Is your recovery terrible? Does your mood fluctuate often? Are you reliant on coffee all day long to stay energized? Are you not able to focus and do your job well? Are you not having a BM everyday? Do you have endless injuries or chronic injuries?
If you are answering yes to most of these… you most likely are not eating enough. If you want to be sure- ask coach Ryan or I.

-Amanda

Expectations in a Metcon

Expectations In A Metcon

“What was your time?”
“What weight did you use?”
“Who’s got the best score?”
“How did they get a round ahead of me?”
“I’m terrible.”
“I’m awesome!”

This is just a short list of the outer and or inner dialogue you may have while doing a Crossfit workout. Everyday, we as SOPO members “compete” with each other. This isn’t a bad thing and can, in fact, be beneficial. Seeing others do well can be exhilarating and motivating. However, as easy as it is for our focus to be pulled to others undertaking the same physical and mental challenges we are about to tackle, we must keep in mind that we should only truly be worried about competing with one specific person….ourselves.

When approaching any metcon, lift, or even mobility session, the most important question you should be asking yourself is “What is my goal?”. All athletes are at different levels and it is imperative each athlete keeps this in mind when in a class setting. For the average athlete, it is unrealistic to measure oneself against the Rich Fronings and Matthew Frasers of the world. If within a class you have a partner you workout with frequently, who you know is close to your level, competing against this individual is healthy. However, we must set our goals prior to shifting our focus to anyone else. We are NOT COMPETING in our day to day training. We are here to train, improve, heal, and better ourselves. For clarity, here is a list of questions we should each ask ourselves each day before we undertake any new challenge.

What is my focus, goal and intent in this workout?

Do I have any tweaks, pains, or injuries that could be exacerbated by any of the assigned movements or weight prescriptions?

Is there anyone in the class with me that can push me with this challenge?

Am I letting my ego dictate any of my decisions to the aforementioned questions?

**As always, if you are struggling to decide on scaling options, what your goal should be, or if you are having any mental battles AT ALL pertaining to the challenge ahead, please consult one of the present coaches. We are there to help and have more than likely experienced the same mental or physical conflictions you are facing. We are here for a reason and want to help you succeed!**

Finally, I want to stress the importance of intention. Intention is similar to setting goals, however intention drives your focus and energy more than a simple goal. Intention creates urgency, self awareness, discipline and overall influences success. Most athletes come into class with one of two mindsets:

I love today’s workout
I hate today’s workout

With the latter mindset comes a whole slew of emotions, predetermined negative mindsets and self talk, and preconceived thoughts on how they could fail. This should not be the case. With every challenge there is a way for any athlete to find success. There are positives to take away from all situations whether you view it as bad or not. The difference is setting intention and setting YOURSELF a goal that is challenging, but attainable IF you push yourself. Intention is a tool left un-utilized by most, but those that are consistent with it become those we aspire to be.

To summarize, your expectations in a metcon should be based solely on your own abilities. Comparing yourself to the wrong person will crush motivation. If you focus on beating the person you were yesterday, you will learn more about yourself and you will improve. SOPO is a workshop. Use it. Build yourself into a better you each day and you will soon not recognize the person you thought you were a week, month or year ago. Stay focused on YOU and the changes WILL come!

Self Challenge

Set your intention prior to class each day this week. Know what your goal(s) is before you enter the gym. Find a favorable partner if one is in your class and push each other. Make note of your weaknesses and strengths. Address those weaknesses and build your strengths. Set your intention and see what changes bloom from a simple shift in perspective. You have nothing to lose!

Let’s get after it!

Be Humble

At Sopo, we believe that everyone contributes to the quality and atmosphere of your training experience. We realize that we all possess different strengths and weaknesses and we are all committed to working hard to become just a little bit better each day.

We want our members to be humble. To know that no one is above you, no one is below you, and that everyone beside you is sweating just as hard and doing their best.

We will celebrate our wins and let go of our losses.

Being humble means working hard despite your hatred for burpees, thrusters, or box jumps.
Being humble means giving your workout partner a high five after the workout because they didn’t quit and they got better.
Being humble means that you can take constructive criticism from your coach who is trying to help make you better each day.
Being humble means that you don’t deserve success just because you showed up; all success is earned with hard work.
Being humble means celebrating OTHERS victories just as much as you celebrate your own.

You see, humility is the opposite of pride. Pride often gets in the way of our progress or experience because we spend too much time in our heads vs being present in our work ethic and attitude. We all fall short sometimes (myself included) with pride but if we strive for humility we will reap rich rewards.

Be Humble, live to serve and not be served.

-Coach Amanda

Creating Achievable Goals

In several other posts, we have discussed the “all or nothing” mindset when it comes to health and fitness. A common thought pattern when one creates goals for their health and fitness is “I won’t have/do ________ this week.” As well-intentioned as this is, it creates tension in our everyday life when we are trying to put a full stop to something that has been a regular part of our life. Consider this, if you were to make a goal that said “I am only going to have a drink/dessert/fast food 3 times this week instead of 5.”
This goal is measurable, specific, achievable, and able to be progressed as needed when it is met.
This same thought progression is applicable to every area of our life. Instead of “I am going to the gym or not” we can give ourselves the freedom to say “I may not have time to make it to the gym today, but I do have time for 20 minutes of air squats, sit-ups, and pushups in my living room.”
When we begin to create our goals around our actual life instead of the life we want to have they become a lot more attainable. As we achieve these goals, they progress and before you know it you actually will arrive at the life you’ve wanted to get to the whole time.
Now that we addressed the All or Nothing mindset and qualities of a goal (specific, measurable, attainable and ability to be progressed), let’s brainstorm about where we can shift our mindset and put this into practice.
Where in your health and fitness routine do you feel like you fail the most often? This could be because you are creating unrealistic goals for yourself that you cannot progress because you never attained them.
Consider these areas and what goals you may change within them; food choice, alcohol intake, sleep consistency, gym routine, water intake, eating out, stretching, and mindfulness.

Action Steps:
Choose 2-3 categories that you would like to make improvements in. Create a goal based on something you would like to change but rather than eliminating a habit completely or trying to implement a new habit 100% of the time, find a balance that you can keep. For example,

“I will go to bed before 11 pm 2-3 nights this week”
“I will meet my protein goal 4 days this week,”
“I will practice muscle-up drills 2 times this week.”

These goals should be specific to you and something that you truly want to implement in your life. Eventually, these small goals will grow and before you know it you will regularly be going to bed on time, meeting your protein goal most days, and consistently making better choices!

Eating when you are busy…

Oftentimes individuals are in 1 of 2 categories. When pressed for time or stressed they either don’t make food a priority or they use food as comfort. Both of these behaviors can be linked to stress.
It is true that not all stress is bad, certain types of stress make us better and teach us to adapt. Other types can become harmful when they prevent us from giving our body what it needs to operate smoothly.

How do you plan for your week in your personal, work and home life? Does it feel jam-packed? Do you make decisions at the grocery store knowing that you have a big work meeting coming up or your child has practice two evenings a week? Understanding how your stress (both good and bad) and time availability affect your eating patterns is critical. If we do not understand our tendencies we will not be able to prepare adequately.

Practical Ideas to plan ahead:
Brainstorm your favorite “easy” meals. This could be deli chicken sandwiches, ground beef tacos, sheet pan roasted fish + veggies (cut veggies beforehand or buy a pre cut option). Once you have several go-to easy meals, plan to have those ready on your busy days. During weeks where there are several days in a row you won’t be able to cook, double the recipe and have it for leftovers!
This is so valuable as we make it a priority to eat whole foods, mostly cooked at home. When I look forward to the meal I have prepared at home it curbs the desire to get fast food because really it won’t save me any time and will most likely make me feel worse.

There is no reason to feel the pressure to cook dinner every night of the week and for most people this is impossible. Do what you can to eat less processed foods while also giving yourself the freedom to buy the frozen chicken tenders (still check the ingredient list) when you know that it will save you from a trip to fast food! Pairing some gluten free chicken tenders with roasted broccoli and carrots is still better than what you would order out so let that be a win. Or if you live close to a restaurant that serves whole foods and locally grown items make a busy evening easier by picking food up and supporting locals!

Lastly, another great resource for eating when you are busy is to find a meal prep service that you trust. Most of these services have several options and allow you to customize the amount of food you are getting each week. This is so helpful!

For my people who just “forget to eat” when the days are hectic. Make it a priority to slow down and breathe. Take a two minute pause from your work and let yourself relax and notice sensations in your body. Are you stressed, are you hungry, what do you need? As we learn to listen to what our bodies are telling us our relationship with food will continue to improve!

-Coach Madisyn

Be BRAVE

Be BRAVE
Bravery requires action.
Bravery is choosing not to let fear keep you from doing what you want/need to do.
Bravery is risky.
Bravery is the only way we can unlock our true potential.

Imagine walking into a CrossFit gym and finding out that everyone is super friendly regardless of how fit they are, what they look like, or how long they’ve been a member. Imagine finding out that the coach’s really want to help YOU right where you are at. They don’t help because they have to- they help because they really want to see YOU succeed. Imagine a community that wants to be the best version of themselves, wants to be healthy, and works hard each class. Imagine you being apart of that community and growing right along with everyone else.

The opposition to bravery is fear. If you are afraid of something, you’ll never try it. Ultimately, this type of fear is driven by unbelief in oneself. If you don’t see yourself capable of much, you won’t be capable of much. If you don’t see yourself successful with your goals, you won’t reach them. No one will workout for you, do the job for you, or be successful for you. Fear can hold us back from trying so many things.

So imagine yourself doing 1 strict pull-up or completing Murph with a vest. Maybe imagine yourself running 1 mile without stopping or doing one stinkin’ double under. You HAVE TO BE BRAVE enough to try it, to take action and work until your goal is met.

Bravery is risky. Another thing that holds people back (I’m always fighting this one). Oftentimes, we can be too afraid to fail. Being brave is choosing that you “might not” get the outcome you want. If you go into this goal/aspiration with half of your heart (half belief/half unbelief) expect half of the results/outcomes you want. You have to believe that it will work and hard work will pay off. Also, you have to move forward to believing that it will be okay if it doesn’t work out as you’d hoped for or taking longer than you thought it would. The risky part is being vulnerable and trying despite the outcome or what others may think.

Bravery is the only way we can unlock our true potential because during the trying you are discovering new things about yourself. You are GROWING, learning, and adapting to all the challenges that you face.

The common theme with bravery is belief. Without it- you won’t succeed. Start with belief and see how many things can change in your life.

So I call you to BE BRAVE today. Try something that makes you uncomfortable. Try something knowing you might fail. Take that risk and see how much you shine or how much you learn.

At Sopo, we always want to be Brave!

-Amanda