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… 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


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
*Vulnerability- (Genuineness)
*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.


Excuses are common.

Everyone is busy.

Everyone has a reason not to.


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 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.

“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

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

Not All Carbs are Created Equal

Today we are going to discuss everyone’s favorite energy source, carbohydrates! There are an abundance of different carbohydrate options out there and most of us have a list of favorites. From sweet potatoes to Snickers bars, most of us love a good carb. However, even though we love our carbs, most people view them in a negative light. Carbs and fats are blamed for any unwanted body fat we put on, and rightly so. However, when properly used, carbs are an amazing tool that can be utilized by everyone! So, in the following paragraphs we are going to define the differences in carbs and how they should be used to our benefit and not our aesthetic demise.

What are Carbohydrates?

If a brick is a workout, carbohydrates are the cement that give a workout value. By itself, a brick is a doorstop at best, but together, bricks and cement can build anything. As the past metaphor hints, carbohydrates are the macronutrient that helps athletes the most with regulating energy level issues, muscle retention/ muscle growth, and recovery. Carbs will give exercise value and after breaking your body down, carbs will work to put you back together stronger. Carbs will provide active persons with the necessary calories to perform and recover to the best of their ability before and after exercise. However, it is important to know which carbs to eat and when.

Simple and Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are broken into two categories: simple carbs and complex carbs. The difference between a simple and complex carb is how they are digested and affect our blood sugar. Simple carbs will affect insulin levels in our body much more directly. This is good for recovery after workouts, not for stagnation as it leads to fat retention. Complex carbs have less effect on insulin levels and are great in small amounts, spread out over the course of each meal. Complex carbs used correctly are ideal for fueling you through your day to day life, even if you are not an active person. To reiterate, fat and carbs don’t make you fat, but if both are ingested in excess, you’ll quickly lose sight of your toes.


Timing with carbs is extremely important. Please be sure to ingest some form of simple carbohydrate immediately following exercise (within the first 90 mins) (simple carb list below). This is imperative to ensure athletes are spiking their insulin levels and feeding their muscles with the most potent, quick-digesting carbohydrates. This is key.
Outside the 2hr window of exercise, you are better suited to ingest mostly complex carbs as they will digest more slowly and help fuel you throughout the day. To be more clear, I have listed BASIC AND GENERAL prescriptions for most athletes below. There are also some examples of simple and complex carbs listed as well.


Non-Active Women and Men: .5 to no more than 1g of carbs per 1 LB. of bodyweight
Active Men and Women:
**This is a complicated question, however for simplicity sake, we will pretend everyone wants to stay the same size. So, attempt to eat 1.5- 2g of carbs per 1 lb. of bodyweight per day.
Simple Carbs: The Cement for Your Muscles After Workouts
Any other sugary stuff
**The body will use these carbs immediately after exercise within a 90min time frame. The quicker the better though (I aim to have my simple carbs within 15-30mins). Take this time to indulge in your bad cravings- i.e. candy bars, ice cream, pie, etc.
Complex Carbs:
Sweet Potatoes
Whole Grain Bread
Brown Rice

There you go! Focus on the quality of your foods and when you do plan to indulge, focus on your timing of those tasty treats and they can actually be beneficial to your physique! Have fun and enjoy!

-Coach Ryan