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What Do You Do?

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What Do You Do?
Written by Lindsey Johnson

“What do you do?”

It’s a common question most often asked when you meet someone for the first time.  It’s a small glimpse into what someone’s life might be like. What’s their lifestyle? How do they live?

I used to love being asked that question. I answered with pride and passion, excitedly explaining CrossFit and demonstrating my passion for helping others through fitness. In the last few years, a lot has changed in the CrossFit industry. It used to be that no one knew what I did. Most people hadn’t heard of CrossFit. If they had, maybe they had heard the word but didn’t know much else. I made explaining CrossFit part of my career.

Something that I’ve repeatedly learned in my life is that money changes everything. When I started coaching CrossFit, the CrossFit Games was something you could sign up for online. The competition was capped at 300 people and that was it. I remember not signing up because I wanted to go to the beach that weekend. ESPN did not have live coverage of the CrossFit Games, and we made shirts using puff paint and glitter for our friends who were competing. If you were an “athlete” in those days and you wanted an ice bath after one of your events, you brought the tub and ice yourself. If you wanted food, you had to plan ahead and bring it in a cooler. (The year I competed, my mom made meatballs…they were delicious).

Now, seven years later, I find myself having to defend my job instead of explaining it with enthusiasm. Today there is a lot of publicity about CrossFit as a sport. When people find out what I do they immediately assume I’m somehow playing a part in people injuring themselves. It’s easy to see that what they show on ESPN could cause injury and perhaps not be the best plan for the general population. But those individuals are the best in the world. What I do has little to do with what we see on ESPN. It’s like comparing pop warner football to the NFL. What we, the coaches, do every day is prove to our members that they can do more than what they think they can do. We help cultivate an environment where people’s expectation of what they can do are raised on a daily basis.

So, let me take this opportunity to be clear about exactly what I do for a living. I create hope. Yes, I know it’s super cheesy and sounds ridiculous but that is, in fact, what I do. All of the Invictus CrossFit coaches live for the moments that show our members just what they’re made of and exactly what they can do. We love it when the 55 year old overweight soccer mom with three children realizes that she can lift that barbell just like we said she could. It brings us great joy when we see the father, who has neglected his health because of family and work obligations, lose 20+ pounds and two pant sizes after starting CrossFit. We live for the moment when the girl who was never a high school athlete suddenly realizes she IS STRONG or the woman who already knew she was strong proves to herself that she can lift even more than she thought.

We feel a swell of pride when watch a member’s face light up in surprise, shock, and sheer joy as a light bulb goes on and they complete a task that, at first, seemed so impossible. We create the feeling that maybe, just maybe, if you put your mind to something, with a little effort you can accomplish it. Maybe “it” is not even fitness related.  Maybe “it” is changing jobs, leaving an unhappy relationship (whether it’s family, spouse, or friend), standing up for yourself, or changing eating habits.  The list could go on and on. Our vehicle for hope is fitness. It’s simply our chosen method.

So when asked, “What do you do?” now, my answer is always along the lines of what Christopher Robin says.  My job is very simply to prove to you that “you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

 

Published on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 | 13 Comments

Care for Your Quads

Care for Your Quads

  Care for Your Quads Written by Cat Blatner Our sport demands a lot out of our quadriceps. We are constantly doing some sort of running, jumping or squatting and man do those muscles get worked! Our quadriceps are one of the largest muscle groups in the body. Maintaining length in these muscles is imperative for the health and longevity of surrounding joints: our knees and hips! Let’s take a quick look at the muscles that make up our quadriceps. We have four quadricep muscles. These are the Rectus Femoris, Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius  and Vastus Lateralis (as shown in the

Published on Monday, January 19, 2015 | 1 Comment
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Steps to a Muscle-Up – Step #3: Turnover and Transition Written by Heather Hippensteel The next crucial piece of the coveted muscle-up is the transition from hips to rings to getting up and over the rings. There are a few different variations of drills to practice this transition step. The key is to be fast and aggressive, utilizing the momentum created from powerful hips while keeping the rings close so that the athlete is able to catch himself securely in the bottom of the ring dip. Drill 1 – Roll to Candlestick The first drill to practice this aggressive transition

Published on Sunday, January 18, 2015 | 1 Comment
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Write it Down – The Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Write it Down – The Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Write it Down – The Benefits of Keeping a Journal Written by Kim McLaughlin Oscar Wilde once said, “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” Now, I am not a playwright and I’m positive that if someone picked up one of my journals they would not describe it as “sensational reading”. Nevertheless, I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember and will continue to keep a journal well into the future. In fact, it’s something that everyone should do. The mental and physical health benefits of

Published on Friday, January 16, 2015 | 3 Comments
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Vitamin D – Does the Body and Mind Good!

Coach Michele with Invictus Members Bob and Ginger Spanbauer, soaking in some Vitamin D!

Vitamin D – Does the Body and Mind Good! Written by Michele Vieux Did you know that the benefits of natural Vitamin D are numerous? If you live in a warm and sunny climate such as San Diego, you should try to spend a little bit of time in the sun every day wearing as little as possible, including NO sunscreen. Getting outside and being active is one of the benefits that natural Vitamin D typically doesn’t boast but as we know, can greatly improve your lifestyle if you spend the time doing these things with your friends and family

Published on Thursday, January 15, 2015 | 7 Comments
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Not So Bad For You Comfort Food!

Not So Bad For You Comfort Food!

Not So Bad For You Comfort Food! Written by Lindsey Johnson Tis the season…for us to think about eating less junk and eating more healthy food! Unfortunately it’s still winter (yes, even in San Diego) and we get the urge to sit at home, watch football under a blanket and eat chicken wings. Maybe it’s just the New England still running through my blood, I don’t know. In any event, I’ll admit to having a tendency for naughty food but the information in my brain kicks in and makes it difficult to do so without a lot of guilt. (Thanks Mom…) Here’s

Published on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 | Post a comment
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