Living a Life of Purpose

Hey world, Troy here.

Something dawned on me the other day while spending some time in the woods; doing the RIGHT thing does not always equate to doing the POPULAR thing. 

Fads will come and go, trends are a dime a dozen - but one simple truth has always withstood the test of time; doing what's right is never wrong. Sacrificing for, believing in and supporting the people who have propped you up in your darkest hours, when you were reduced to a crawling heap of flesh in a world of rubble and chaos, is quite literally the very definition of what it means to be human. 

Therefore, now more than ever it's important to understand, and embody, this simple ideal; treat everyone you meet with compassion and respect, and never leave anyone out in the cold. For we are ONE PEOPLE, and together we are destined to thrive. 

I've sat back quietly and watched while CrossFit has grown from a grass-roots, garage-gym community into what it is today - a worldwide spectacle showcasing the extremes of which we are physically capable. Unfortunately, with that evolution came popularity and fame, machismo and measurement. The community of like-minded individuals once celebrating each other's accomplishments/achievements has slowly morphed into an atmosphere of comparison and elitism. 

The time has finally come to put down our swords and unclench our fists; to turn "they" into "we" and to embrace the future as it unfolds. The era of separation has come to an end, and it's as important now as it has ever been that we stand together, shoulder to shoulder with those people most similar to us, and harbor no ill-will to those who may be different. For we are all building our communities through which we will survive the changing times. 

I challenge anyone reading this now to slow down and find the time to intimately consider what  you want YOUR future to look like/consist of, and what kind of people you want to spend it with. For we are little more than the combined average of those people which we surround ourselves with most often. In acknowledging this truth, it then becomes glaringly CRUCIAL that in leading a life free from drama and stress to evaluate your surroundings and see things/people as they truly are. For once you see things as they actually are, and not as they claim to be, you gain control of changing your situation in life. 

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week, and takes these words for what they're worth. I will never claim to KNOW anything, but merely offer these insights as food for thought so that YOU may begin to spin the wheels of creativity within your very own mind and in time design/realize the life you were destined to live.

All the best,

Spotlight Member - January 2018

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Samantha (Sam) Nacos!!!

Ok.  When your last name rhymes with tacos and is one letter off of nachos - at least 1 thing is absolutely guaranteed within a Crossfit community… saying your last name just simply makes everyone happier. Especially on Tuesdays. Nacos. Nacos. Nacos.  You're welcome.  

And even though this month we’re flat on taco puns (wait for it)... the awesome thing is… we get to share a unique member highlight that makes up for it with her own mentions of our beloved Tex/Mex and some solid shout outs to Unicorns, Death Metal and yup, even ‘Murica.

But before we get to the meat of our story (aha – there it is!)… let me give you a little bit more on Samantha (a.k.a. Sam)…

Sam started with us at the beginning of last year and within one year’s time she has become a favorite for coaches and members alike. It’s rare that a person can join our community and become such an instant role model, but you can't help but get giddy being along for the ride on her journey. From her first day and every day since, she’s attacked her workouts with a ferocious passion and contagious intensity. It’s that kind of energy that is the secret recipe to the so-called Crossfit Kool-Aid. Seriously. Her determination to be greater drives other members to want the same – and if her energy isn’t enough to kick-start you, apparently, Sam can even motivate with a well placed eye-brow raise as well… as one member shared “you sometimes judge how much weight to put on your bar by the stink eye Sam gives you.  LOL. Her facial expressions pretty much dictate my entire workout. Sam’s belief in me is literally written on her face. She's my compass. If she believes I can do, I believe I can do it”.

We are so incredibly grateful to have Sam as part of our CFE family and we can’t wait to see what unbelievable achievements lie ahead for her. Read below to get to know more about Samantha (Sam) Nacos…

1. Tell us about yourself:

Well, I’m a giant goofball. I work in finance specifically with retirement accounts, helping people has always been something that has driven me. I love to cook and when I’m not at the gym (or working) I’m usually cooking, listening to music or reading/writing. I started this journey with Crossfit to make myself healthier, I never expected it would improve not only my physical healthy but my mental and emotional health as well. I’m extremely grateful for everyone in our community and the love and support they have shown me along my journey. Especially Ryan, he has been so instrumental in my success. 

2. How long have you been with us at CFE? Do you remember your first workout?

I started my on ramp in January of 2017 with Alexander, my very first class workout was actual 17.1. 

3. What is your favorite movement/lift?  Least favorite? 

I’m pretty excited for anything with a barbell, I’d say it’s a toss up between bench press and back squats. 

Least favorite is probably the kettle bell swing.

4. If you could design the perfect workout and name it after yourself what would it be?

I think my perfect workout starts with building to a heavy set of 3 on the bench. Then we would move to a partner workout because I always feel like I push the hardest when I’m with someone else. I’d call that part of the workout Nachos Nightmare!… It would be a 25 minute AMRAP (75/55) 30 bench presses, 30 bent over rows, 100m run, 30 deadlifts, 30 squat cleans, 100m run. Share reps as needed - alternate runs. 

5. You’re the newest addition to the crayon box – what color would you be and why?

It would be a unicorn crayon… all of the colors swirled together so one second it’s pink the next it’s purple, blue etc because why just pick one? 

6. If you could pick the perfect song to listen to during the best workout of your life what would it be?

It would have to be 5 Finger Death Punches cover of Mama said knock you out. Ryan knows and put this one on for my last back squat PR!

7. What’s your favorite flavor Jolly Rancher and why? 

Tacos!? Ummm… I honestly don’t like jolly ranchers but if I had to pick I would probably go with watermelon. 

8. What’s the last thing you “googled” or searched for on the internet?

This weekend I made chili and I googled “Is a plum tomato the same as a Roma?” for the record the answer is yes. 

9. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would it be and why?

I think I would have to go with a bald eagle, it would be pretty amazing to fly and also because ‘Merica. 

10. Any advice for those looking to get started with Crossfit?

Crossfit is for everyone regardless of your size or skill. In the beginning always remember you are only competing against yourself and when your coach tells you to scale reps it’s not because you can’t do it, it’s because they want you to succeed in the long run.

Spotlight Coach - December 2017

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This time of year is like no other.  Excitement is electric as we look forward to charging into an amazing new year, but we are also equally humbled as we reflect on everything within the incredible year that is now behind us.

The concept of a new year resolution is rooted in the inherent drive within each of us to begin to live a more positive and impactful life. We revisit our dreams and goals and wonder if we are doing enough to allow us to accomplish them. We resolve to be better. Here at CFE, we find no greater joy than being able to share in the pursuit and achievement of your goals, and we are absolutely elated to see what's ahead for each of you in 2018.

With that being said, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight someone who is not only actively engaged in helping our members achieve optimal fitness, but she has been incredibly passionate and relentless in her own self pursuit of health and wellness.  She is an invaluable leader within our CFE family and as those who know her best will tell you... "She's thoughtful, passionate and inspirational"... "a perpetual student; striving to learn and driven to evolve"... "dedicated to the pursuit of total wellness".  

Please read below to get to know more about CFE's own Kristen Hubbard! a.k.a. DJ K-Hubbs? Can we make that stick? :)

1. When and why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit in 2012. I had been studying to become a personal trainer and got a job at a gym that had both a 24-hour fitness facility and a CrossFit gym in the basement...and immediately fell in love with it when I tried it. There was no looking back after that!

2. What are your favorite CrossFit movements / least favorite movements?

My favorite movements are the olympic lifts...specifically the clean and jerk. Least favorite would have to be bodyweight movements or running...not my strong suit. But hey, they are just opportunities to get better at something!

3. What is your favorite movement to coach?

This might sound silly, but the air squat. It is the foundation of so many movements...and you can learn so much about a person’s mobility, habits, limitations by focusing on teaching the perfect air squat. It’s also so important to teach the basics, which is why I love it; you build so much off of them.

4. Any particular coaching memory that stands out for you?

There isn’t one in particular. I would say any moment that I watch someone accomplish something that previously seemed impossible or hard to understand. There’s almost this giddy excitement that comes across someone’s face (even if they try to hide it) when they get that first muscle up, PR a deadlift, finally understand a squat clean or what a jerk is supposed to feel like… so I would say my favorite coaching memory is any memory where an athlete surprised themselves and shattered their previous self-limiting beliefs by realizing they COULD do something they didn’t think they could.

5. What's something you're surprisingly good at that most people don't know (could be anything)?

I try not to be too cocky about it… but I am an amazing beat boxer. They asked me to be in Pitch Perfect 3 but I told them I had to coach the 5:30 am class so I couldn’t. ZDT for life.

6. What are you most proud of in your life?

So many things. Getting sober...finally. And I would say having the courage to leap when there was no net, or I at least couldn’t see so many circumstances. Through that I learned how to honor what I truly wanted and needed in life, and also to trust that things would be okay- no matter what.

7. What's your life outside of CrossFit look like?

On a day to day basis I always start the day (after coaching) with reading and journaling. I am a writer and currently building that career in my own business and working with others in theirs. I like adventure but not the currently I just read a lot of books, watch Survivor, attend weird hippie events with my friends and go to Vegan restaurants.

8. Where do you see your self in 5yrs?

Hopefully in a warmer climate and on a TED stage somewhere or in a coffee shop working on a new article. I also will be training 4-5 days per week again (took a little breather for a minute) and still eating plants (don’t worry they have protein) and making gains. Oh and always connecting with people...whether it’s my athletes, clients, friends or over the web.

Spotlight Member - November 2017


Jen Naughton... throwing down at the Throwdown...



We made the list.  We checked it twice.  One name sat at the top on every ballot and we’re going BANANAS to announce November’s CFE Member Highlight.. Jen Naughton!!!

Ok, first off, when you have an opportunity to use a Christmas pun - you take it! Second, and more importantly, we are just coming off a holiday when we all gathered with friends and family to give thanks and to count our blessings (and sure, maybe some of us convinced ourselves that we definitely burned enough calories earlier in the week at Crossfit to binge eat our Thanksgiving feasts!).  But, when it comes to our CFE family, we feel incredibly thankful and blessed that Jen joined our tribe and we are grateful to be able to recognize her as the November CFE Highlight Member.

Jen is dedicated to leading herself and her family to a life of health and fitness.  Jen absolutely adores CFE and she shares it with her whole family.  She works so hard both inside and outside of the gym. Even while juggling demands of being a mom of 3 and a full-time nurse, Jen finds the time to actively participate in classes and CFE community activities. She’s always asking questions as she’s eager to learn and progress, and she takes pride in achieving small goals as they only help get her one step closer to her bigger ones. She’s incredibly driven; consistent in her training; and always wants to take on a challenge, but she centers on being incredibly selfless as she always finds a way to be there to cheer and support others in the pursuit of their own separate goals.

Read below to get to know Jen and be sure to tell her Congratulations!...  and maybe politely mention to her that the workout she created is pure evil…

1. Tell us about yourself:

“I am a Mom before all other things (with the exception of the 15-10 minutes a WOD takes). Grace is 15, Max 11, and Colten 7. Though I think most people already know them because CFE is one of their favorite places to hang out too! I am a nurse. I currently work on a rehabilitation unit in a nursing home in Woburn. I love, love, love what I get to do for a living.  The people I have met and the nurse experiences I have had in the past 5 years as a nurse are pretty much immeasurable. I moved to Merrimack last year and never thought I would meet so many people so quickly.  Joining a Crossfit gym is by far the easiest way to make a quick 75 friends when you are new in town!”

2. How long have you been with us at CFE? Do you remember your first workout?

“I started on-ramp with Alexander in January. I met with him to talk about the New You challenge. I could hear the energy coming from the gym while we talked about the challenge and decided to skip the challenge and just sign-up as a member.  So glad I did! I have no idea what my first workout was but I do remember asking Alexander if I could pay to on ramp again because I never thought I would be ready for a WOD (he said NO!).”

3. What is your favorite movement/lift?  Least favorite?

“I have a lot of favorites… box jumps, dumbbell snatches, wall balls, SDHPs, sled pushes, and squat cleans.  My least favorite… strict press, push press, thrusters.”

4. If you could design the perfect workout and name it after yourself what would it be?

“It would be called NAUGHTON EASY ONE (ba-da-bump tssss): It would definitely be a grind… 3 rounds for time… 800m plate carry (because who doesn’t love an odd-object run!), 21 box jumps, 18 dumbbell snatches, 15 T2B, 9 burpees, 6 wall balls, 3 squat cleans. If you have time to stick around… Sprint 100m x8 and sled pull heavy AF (parental censory) 50’ x 6 rounds.

5. You’re the newest addition to the crayon box – what color would you be and why?

“Orange!  I love the color… grew up in Woburn and that was our team color. I like the way it stood out from the other towns red, blue, or white uniforms.”

6. If you could pick the perfect song to listen to during the best workout of your life what would it be?

“You’re the Best (theme song from Karate Kid), or anything from Rocky (especially Rocky IV).”

7. What’s your favorite flavor Jolly Rancher and why?

“So, I can’t eat candy (along with a # of other things) but if I could create a flavor of Jolly Rancher it would be banana because I eat a ridiculous amount of them in a day/week/year. 9/63/3276.  If you want the secret to recovering quick after a workout… try a few bananas.”

8.  What was the last thing you “googled” or searched for on the internet?

“I think I am going to go back to school to be a nurse practitioner so I have been searching programs nearby. 10 months ago I would have been googling Crossfit abbreviations. Glad I can finally understand the whiteboard (most of the time).

9. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would it be and why?

“I never wanted to be anything but a person… I can run, jump, sing, dance, hug, laugh, love, think/reason.  Yup I am good with that!”

10. Any advice for those looking to get started with Crossfit?

“No advice needed.  The coaches, the members, the music, will carry you through.  Huge THANK YOU to Alexander for getting me started and keeping me moving, to Troy for creating such an amazing place and community, to Ryan for breaking down every workout and finding the best scales so that I still feel like a badass and making it so even the hardest workout is obtainable, and to the regular nooners for keeping it interesting!  It has been an incredible year filled with tons of memories inside and outside of the gym.  Know that I talk all the time about how amazing ALL of you are and how much our community means to me and my kids!”


Spotlight Member - October 2017


Ty Crumb
Looks AND personality?!  A double threat guy! :)

Don’t let that boyish smirk fool you – Ty just crushed that WOD, into CRUMBles. Ba-da-bump, tssss.

It’s with absolutely no doubt that Ty has earned the October CFE Member Highlight. Ty was chosen for this recognition because he just flat out exemplifies machismo. He trains with consistency and always has a positive attitude. His success makes him want more; his failure makes him want to work harder. He’s a coach’s dream; taking cues and wanting to learn, and he helps others when they are struggling and he’s right there to celebrate with others as they celebrate their victories and hit some goals.  Members and Coaches alike sing his praises and we’re incredibly honored to have Ty as part of our CFE Family.

Oh – and as if the chiseled chin and steel-blue eyes weren’t enough to make you blush, this military veteran is also a computer geek and cat lover. Mic Drop!?  Read below to get to know our very own CFE “Crumb-brulee”.  Congrats, Ty!!!

1. Tell us about yourself:

“I’m just a dude, dude. I work with computers and do things with parachutes. I’m a veteran. I feel lucky to be part of the AWESOME community at CFE.”

2. How long have you been with us at CFE? Do you remember your first workout?

“I’ve been with CFE since Memorial Day 2016, I couldn’t picture working out anywhere else, or with a better group than CFE. Period.  My first workout was Murph.  Yup, Murph!!

3. What is your favorite movement/lift?  Least favorite?

“It’s hard to pick ONE favorite really, but, I have a shirt that says “Snatches are my favorite, so um… snatches!? Least favorite is also tough; everyone is better at one thing or another, but building up something that isn’t as great as another is something that everyone here is also doing.  Currently, I guess I might pick double-unders because they are temper-tantrum inducing!

4. If you could design the perfect workout and name it after yourself what would it be?

“Crumb-cake: AMRAP for 20 minutes: 5 Hand-Stand Push-Ups, 4 Wall-Balls, 3 Bar-Facing Burpees, 2 Snatches, 1 minute max calorie Assault Bike..”

5. You’re the newest addition to the crayon box – what color would you be and why?

“Black and Blue Favorite colors…soooo.”

6. If you could pick the perfect song to listen to during the best workout of your life what would it be?

“Again, hard to pick ONE… maybe Cinderella Man – Eminem, Truffle Butter – Drake/Lil’ Wayne, Cheap Thrills – Sia/Sean Paul.

7. What’s your favorite flavor Jolly Rancher and why?

“Cherry – just like Starbursts, they’re the best!”

8.  What was the last thing you “googled” or searched for on the internet?

“Wedding Crashers painting scene.  Lol”

9. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would it be and why?

“Siberian Tiger. Meow!”

10. Any advice for those looking to get started with Crossfit?

“Fall in love with the process. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Be an eternal student, you can learn something from everyone. Feel the fear, but do it anyway. Leave the word - CAN’T – behind!”

Spotlight Member - September 2017

Zayna (on the right) with Priscilla post-WOD.

Zayna (on the right) with Priscilla post-WOD.


Zayna Williams
The PR assassin!!
It’s always the quiet ones
that prove to be the MOST deadly!

We are extremely excited and proud to introduce Zayna as our first CFE Spotlight Member! Zayna was chosen for this recognition because every single day she comes into class, puts her head down and goes to work. With laser focus and silent determination, she continuously pushes herself to rise to the next level; making corrections as they are needed and steadily checking challenge goals off her hit-list! 

Sure, she might be quiet, but she never misses an opportunity to cheer others on.  She is humble and shy and you might need to pry her out of her shell a little, but when you do, you will realize Zayna is an absolute rock-star and such a huge part of our CFE family!  Read below to get to know Zayna a little bit better and be sure to say hi and congrats next time you see her!  You can’t miss her, she’ll be the one taking sniper shots at the leaderboards! You rock, Zayna! 

1. How long have you been with us at CFE? Do you remember your first workout?

“I have been at CFE since mid-March! I wish I could remember the WOD but I remember it consisted of rowing and burpees.”

2. What is your favorite movement/lift?  Least favorite?

“My favorite movement is either the power snatch or double-unders.  My least favorite is snatches.”

3. If you could design the perfect workout and name it after yourself what would it be?

“ZAYNA – 3 Rounds for Time: Double-Unders, 200 meter run & power snatches.”

4. You’re the newest addition to the crayon box – what color would you be and why? 

“Purple – it is soft and dull but represents royalty and strength.”

5. If you could pick the perfect song to listen to during the best workout of your life what would it be?

“Wild Thoughts” – by DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller

6. What’s your favorite flavor Jolly Rancher and why?

“Cherry – it is hands down the BEST!”

7. If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would it be and why?

“I’d be a bird; to have the capabilities to fly anywhere I want anytime.”

8. Any advice for those looking to get started with Crossfit?

“I would advise not to be as intimidated as I was.  It’s a welcoming community and it’s like no other, you’ll never want to go back to the regular gym. Push yourself beyond your limits.”


Self-limiting fantasies

The difference between growth and stagnancy starts with your mindset

The difference between growth and stagnancy starts with your mindset

"Tell yourself you can or you can't, either way you're right."

The above quote has resinated with me for as far back as I can remember. The very concept of self-imposed limitations is both fascinating and absurd. Basically if you think it, you create it. If you don't belive you can lift a bar, you wont. If you don't belive you can swim across a pool underwater, you wont. By allowing self-doubt and uncertainty establish a foothold in our mind, we create the atmospheric conditions that facilitate failure. We give up before trying, simply because we convince ourselves cannot succeed. 

Self-imposed limitations ultimately begin in our mind; the little self doubts and insecurities that we have for ourselves become the focal point of our attention. How many of you reading this have plateaued a lift for prolonged period of time? Every time your bar is loaded to the specific weight at which your stuck, right as you begin to lift, your brain questions your capacity to succeed based off of past failures that you've experienced. Thus you never really give the lift your full 100% effort; you wind up with a half-assed extension, the bar barely making it to mid-thigh before drifting off into oblivion as you storm off while mumbling that the bar was "too heavy." The bar wasn't too heavy, you simply didn't believe in your ability to lift it.

Similarly, how many of you have established new or demolished previous Personal Records(PR's) without ever figuring out exactly how much weight is on your bar? You jovially loading it up with a random, hopefully symmetrical, assortment of plates mid conversation and lifted it with ease. Come to find out the bar was ten pounds over your previous best. 

Nearly all of us have experienced this at some point throughout our athletic careers. This is because in that moment, anything is possible - you have no idea how much weight is on the bar and you're lifting based off feel and not off thought. More often than not we establish new personal records on days that we're having the most fun training. I accredit this to focus; your mind isn't attuned to doubt, it's attuned to the fun atmosphere primed for success. 

Overcoming these imaginary boundaries can prove difficult, but I promise it's possible by implementing any/all of the three following tactics: 

Tactic 1: Shift Your Standards

- Don't measure your success based on anyone else's performance. I know, easier said than done; but it's essential that you learn to trust your capabilities and compete against yourself if you ever want to truly thrive. No two athletes are identical, and therefore measuring yourself to someones else's standards will always leave you coming up short. Turn your competitive focus inward, and take the time to appreciate small victories along the road.

Tactic 2: Trick Your Mind

- Mix things up and don't stress the details. If, for example, loading a bar to 185lbs using 45's and 25's you notice it feels heavy and discouraging - change the way it's loaded. Go with 15's and 10's for the same total weight, but convince yourself that it's different somehow. Find ways to trick your brain into turning off so that your body can do it's thing. 9/10 times our mind will give up far before our body does - understanding and mastering this will take your successes to entirely new levels. 

Tactic 3: Evaluate Your Atmosphere

- Look around; is your current training environment composed of individuals on the same life path as yourself? Do your peers emotionally and spiritually build you up and support you in times of struggle and strife? Is there a pride of belonging, or is it every man for himself? These questions matter - if you belong to an environment that rarely invests each other emotionally/physically/spiritually then it is doomed to fail. It takes a tribe to survive, and believe it or not the people you see at the gym every day help shift and mold your daily mindset. In some cases we see the people we do at our daily workouts more often than we do our own extended family - be sure to invest in them and they will invest back in you. 

Doubt and insecurities are poison, they can quite literally destroy us from within. Learning, acknowledging and owning the elements that limit our potential is paramount if we desire long term success in both fitness and life. Toss self doubt out the window, tell yourself you can, and will accomplish wonders and forget the rest. Train your mind to listen to your body, and not the other way around; once you embrace this way of thining, you will undoubtedly unlock the gate to an entirely new realm of possibilities. 


If you want cake... eat cake


Mindfulness: the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.  It’s a word that I have heard in use over the years relative to school, work, exercise and of course nutrition. Only recently however, have I begun to truly understand the meaning of the word and its implication on the decisions that we make every day. Most recently, and if you were in my group for the Whole Life Challenge you are already aware, mindfulness has been at the core of my approach to diet and nutrition. As we enter our food-centered holiday season it is hard to think of changing anything about our eating until the new year, but a little bit of mindfulness can go a long way to kicking the new year off on the right foot.

Every time someone asks me about my philosophy when it comes to nutrition I tell the story of my friend (and lifelong fitness and nutrition mentor) who was inspired by our elementary school principal’s simple life advice “if you want cake, eat cake.” Now in reality, I think he was actually talking about cake, but if you think about it he was talking about mindfulness. Many approaches to diet and nutrition focus only on the food and not the reasons why we make the choice to eat the food. If I told you how many times I have heard “I know what I am supposed to eat, I just don’t do it” your head would spin. While it sounds like it should be an easy fix of “just do it” it is a bit more complicated than that and the first step to making better choices is to understand why we are making our current choices in the first place.

We all lead such busy lives that it is easy to go through a whole day without really thinking about what we eat. It might be in little bits like eating a few pieces of candy each time you walk by your co-worker’s desk or all at once like eating a whole pizza. Here is where is gets tough, each of those choices could have been made mindlessly or mindfully, the choice is still up to you. If the candy at your co-worker’s desk is your favorite and you are looking for a little indulgence to enjoy, grab one and enjoy it and congratulate yourself for making a mindful decision. If the candy is 3 months old, tastes gross and is collecting dust and you are still eating it every time you walk by, check yourself because you are eating mindlessly. If you forgot to pack a lunch and by 1:00pm you’re starving so you eat a whole pizza from that place on the corner that is pending health department shut-down, probably a mindless choice. If you have been craving pizza and decide to order from your favorite pizza place for dinner, enjoy it and move on because that my friend was a mindful decision. After making those mindful choices you can then decide if you would like to continue that pattern or make different choices in the future.

As we enter the holiday season I challenge you to make mindful choices. Enjoy the time celebrating with family and friends, enjoy the spirit of the season and enjoy your favorite food! And remember, if you want cake… eat cake.

Don't Stop Moving... Even When it Hurts

Movement is life… Many of you have heard me say this [and if you haven’t then you aren’t speaking with me enough], the phrase refers to keeping: the skills we claim in our physical endeavors; to earning new skills; and to reclaiming skills we have lost. However, and most importantly, the phrase refers to the therapeutic effect that movement has upon the body.

Movement can take literally any form. As long as you are not lying on your back doing nothing, you are engaged in some sort of movement. Even simply standing is a form of movement, because certain muscles must be engaged in order to fight gravity and keep you erect [for all of you out there snickering, yes I said erect, try to be an adult]. Sometimes movement is turning your head from side to side, sometimes it is going to the gym and hitting a MobilityWOD, other times it is merely taking your joints through an impromptu range-of-motion flow, where one chooses a starting position and attempts to move into a variety of positions without stopping. The only rule? There is no wrong movement. Just learn what your body is capable of, and work on the restrictions you uncover. You might be surprised at how good your body feels when you stop using everyday movement patterns, and break out your inner yoga-freak.

During Friday’s WOD, with 13min left on the clock, and 14 rounds completed, I accidentally shifted a vertebrae in my back… I had to stop. Saturday morning was a nightmare. The pain woke me at 6am and it took me 10min to get out of bed. Then, when I finally did, I could not stand erect. I had to hobble from furniture item to furniture item until I found a makeshift cane, which I was forced to utilized for the whole morning; the pain very nearly caused me to quit. But then I hear myself speaking to my clientele, my friends, my CFE family… ‘Movement is life.’ Who would I be if I quit? A hypocrite? A teacher of false doctrine? Yes and yes, but I would also be proverbially dead. I knew if I lay down I would not get back up. I threw up a quick prayer to Jesus [yes I believe in God... again, you’re most likely not speaking with me enough]; then I grit my teeth, growled at my cursed and broken body, and chose to fight for my movement… I chose to reclaim my body.

No, I did not take drugs. I needed my senses acute in order to identify the patterns in which I could move and in which I could not move. The goal? Move into the pattern(s) that hurt less; then over time, move into the positions that used to feel unbearable. My only goal Saturday was to be able to get on and off the floor, and by 4pm I had achieved my goal. I know when I need help, so I reached out to Kelly Collins [on of CFEs resident OTs] and she agreed to work on me and rock tape my back on Sunday at 11am. - We are a tribe, we help each other. - I am now pain free, but exhausted, and I can feel the weakness in certain muscles. So this week I am dedicated to movement in order to rehab myself and keep that which I had to earn over the weekend.

So, I hereby challenge all of CFE to a 5-min movement flow every day this week. When you do, post it on the CFE FB-Page. I will start us off tonight. So get after it CFE!

“It’s not about how hard you can hit… It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep pushing… Keep moving forward.”

- Rocky -

The Mind Is Primary

"Train your mind and your body will follow. "
-Someone, Somewhere

Growing and developing our minds is absolutely crucial for long term success in this world. If the mind suffers, the body does too. When our mind/spirit grows, physical performance improves, as performance improves, confidence evolves and character develops. It’s a fascinating and important cycle.

In training as with life, our least favorable aspect is discomfort, hands down. But being willing to accept and enjoy discomfort - knowing that it leads to adaptation and improvement is a valuable lesson to be learned. In doing so, we are able to prevent or avoid many negative aspects commonly associated with our style of training: cherry picking workouts, lack of interest, burnout, or biased programming to name a few. By embracing discomfort and welcoming the unknown, we are able to build and maintain a more well-rounded base of skills and abilities. In order for this chain-reaction to begin; we must first establish and refine the proper mindset - one primed and hungry to grow.

Our mindsets can be trained and molded, much like our bodies believe it or not. A consistent cycle of stimulus/response will provide both physical and mental adaptation. Deliberate and focussed thoughts and actions break the cycle of existing habits, and lay the foundation for new ones to form. These new habits, be they good or bad, establish the kind of mindset we will adopt and embrace.

People often say that we become what we do, read, think and feel. Similarly that we are the sum of the five people interact with most. So if this is the case, then choose your peers and influences wisely. Being surrounded by trustworthy, caring and enthusiastic people, it would seem, is the foundation on which progress towards a more confident, capable and understood self sits. From here, we build.


The Journey Begins...

"The strength of the pack is the wolf. The strength of the wolf is the pack"

Today we begin what will soon become our coaches corner - a place where coaches can express idea's and share information that we feel vital to the growth and development of our tribe at CFE. Read it if you'd like and take it as you will. You'll undoubtedly notice distinct styles, themes, and characteristics that will distinguish each of our coaches from each other. We hope you find value in what we write, and that it in one way, shape or form helps you on your journey to a more fit, healthy and capable self. 

Gatorz Sunglass - Made in the USA