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3rd Annual Frosty Festival - January 28th

Elm City CrossFit – New Haven Areas oldest CrossFit Gym is proud to announce the come-back of a true winter classic with its 3rd Annual Frosty Festival Competition – Saturday, January 28th @ 9 am.

In true Elm City fashion, we will ask athletes of all backgrounds and experience levels to test their mental preparation, fitness and above all spirit in this classic single day event.

No need for scaled and RX divisions, No prerequisites required! This competition is open to all athletes, new and old, rookies and veterans and we look to award the fitness and most adaptive athletes around.

Age Group Division will ensure you are competing against your peers!

Never before seen in Competition as this unprecedented format will test each athlete in a powerlifting format to establish a one rep max in back squat, bench and deadlift as well as 3 CrossFit type Workouts!

Each division will include 6 age classes:

15-20

21-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-60++

Each workout will be universally scalable and each athlete will not only be able to perform each movement but will showcase their performance.

Cost of the competition is $65. This includes a Frosty Festival Sweat Shirts for all registered athletes!

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MissFit comes to Elm City!

Getting in shape doesn’t have to be the lonely training session in the family room while juniors napping only to jump up and get the phone hoping you can vicariously live your girlfriends latest night out story. Losing those last 5 pounds shouldn’t include the unsolicited stares as you try to figure out which handle to pull and where to sit on the latest fad machine at the Globo Gym. You could try Crossfit but you heard it’s to competitive for what you want to accomplish and 3-2-1 GO crazy time is the hours between 7 and 9 getting ready for the day, not a fitness routine.

Enter MissFit, Forged by the experiences of Melissa Nadeau wh...o started at ECC in the Crossfit G-Pop and was throwing down with the best of them things were looking promising for the young athlete. It was then in the Spring of 2014 Melissa was side lined, it was then that Melissa became a mom. Throughout her maternal rehab she stayed active, fitting in fitness where ever and whenever she could. She was all too familiar with tripping on the exercise ball on the way to hit pause on the Brazilian Butt Lift DVD or uncomfortably listening to the latest self-proclaimed trainer at the Gobo Gym explain the thigh abductor machine with tactile precision. This journey has led to MissFit, the development of a comfortable gathering of like-minded women who want to lead a healthy lifestyle, translation, let’s get together and get fit with a variety of movements and always changing format that is customized to each person individual abilities.

PS. Include family, See friends, make new friends and look forward to doing it again…I think that sums up the fit life!

Kickoff meeting and party will be held at Elm City CrossFit ~ Friday, April 1st @ 5 pm

Normal Class Schedule will be: Monday, Wednesday and Friday @ 9:30 am 

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Elm City offers Pool Workouts too!

 

Elm City CrossFit is extremely proud and honored to offer to our members pool workout and access! We finally have a pool for all of our athletes and community members to further expand your fitness journey.

Starting Tuesday September 22nd, the Hamden/North Haven YMCA will offer our Elm City CrossFit members access to the pool from 6-7 am.

Below is the Elm City Pool Schedule:
 

Tuesday 6-7 am

Thursday 6-7 am

Friday 6-7 am

The only requirement is that you fill out the proper forms and waivers prior to joining the scheduled classes. The forms can be found in the Coaches office at ECC and must be filled out and taken to the pool deck to gain access. Once your information is filed, you do not have to do this process again!

All athletes will have to sign in at the front desk in the log book each time they attend any pool training at the YMCA.

If you have further questions, please contact Joe at joe.kusnitz@elmcitycrossfit.com

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Elm City Underground is Born~ Part 3

The Elm City Underground is Born!  

The Elm City Underground is Born!
 

September 1st marks the beginning of our new Strength and Conditioning Program at Elm City. We are extremely excited to offer all of our athletes another avenue to create stability, strength, power and overall fitness.

We are currently accepting athletes to join Elm City Underground. The calendar program starts September 1st, but anyone can join at any time. Once you are signed up, you will receive 4 workouts per week. Just like discussed in earlier posts, you will have many opportunities to complete these workouts during the week. The coached classes for the 4 weekly workouts are:

Monday 6-8 pm

Wednesday 6-8 pm

Saturday 8-10 am

Sunday 8-10 am

If you are unable to make those times- don’t worry.  You can come and get your workout in anytime Elm City is open. Elm City Underground is a separate space with its own equipment.

Remember, you can you can and should continue to participate in CrossFit even if you are participating in Elm City Underground. Maybe you start with 2 days a week and then move on to maybe 3 and eventually 4. This program is perfect for athletes who are looking to create more stability, strength and power. All of this will help in your overall athleticism as well as build a better base for your other sports specific needs.

To sign up – just email Coach Joe at joe.kusnitz@elmcitycrossfit.com and your Elm City Underground program will be email directly to you. Your 90 day cycle will begin the day you sign up. If you have any questions or need more specifics on the plan, email Joe!

Good Luck! I hope to see many people take advantage of this new program.
 

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Elm City Underground ~ Part 2

Elm City Underground – Part 2

As we have mentioned before, we are launching our new Strength and Conditioning Program called Elm City Underground September 1, 2015. This club will be programed in 3 month sessions. The great thing about this program is that it can act alone as a power and strength based program as well as work together with all of our current programs at Elm City. This is not meant to replace what you are currently doing but simply add another venue for athletes to train and become more versed, defined and powerful.

ECU timeline: 9/1/15 – 12/1/15 (Anyone can join the club at any time!)

ECU Costs: $225 for current CrossFit Members, $450 for non-members

ECU Facility: We are designating an area in the gym to house our new program. It is our goal to have multiple avenues for athletes to come and get fit no matter what program they may chose. We are also excited to have some new art currently in design to help celebrate the Elm City Underground program.

ECU Program: We will distribute 4 workouts per week. Coached classes will be on the following days/time: Monday, Wednesday 6-8pm & Saturday, Sunday 8-10am. As part of the club, you can join the coached workouts or you can simply do your workouts anytime Elm City is open!  Remember, you have the ECU space ready and waiting anytime. These workouts may not take 2 hours, but we wanted to supply ample opportunity to get them in. It is certainly not out of the question to have club members do a portion of the posted strength workout and join in on the main CrossFit Class assuming the CrossFit Coach knows of the involvement and program.

ECU Notes: This is built as a stand-alone strength and conditioning program, meaning you do not have to make every workout, nor do you have to begin on day 1. But because it is very strength biased, athletes can still participate actively in Elm City Crossfit to further build endurance and conditioning. It is certainly designed to build over time but anyone can benefit by joining at any time.

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Elm City Underground

 

Elm City is excited to offer a new and exciting program for our community. Starting September 1st, we will be offering a new strength and conditioning program called Elm City Underground. This club will be programed in 3 month sessions. The great thing about this program is that it can act alone as a power and strength based program as well as work together with all of our current programs at Elm City. This is not meant to replace what you are currently doing but simply add another venue for athletes to train and become more versed, defined and powerful. 

Highlights of the program are quite simple. 

The Elm City Underground: A strength and conditioning program designed to expose athletes to various approaches to training. Simplistic by design, our athletes are going to be asked to push and pull, stand and hold, lift and carry. Using our innovative design while utilizing methods and movements that can be tracked back to powerlifting, body building, strongman training and fitness specialties. Our program is not specialized but quite the opposite while using a variety of non specific methods.  Any athlete, from any background, with any experience level can benefit from this program and will improve his or her overall fitness, power, strength, stability and general wellness. 

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Variety is the Spice of Life?

Variety is the spice of life right? And it is so much more prevalent when we talk about exercise, conditioning and a healthy life style. At Elm City CrossFit, we use many cycles throughout the year to build strength. We phase out our skills to make our bodies respond differently to various elements. But most importantly, we use the concept of constant variation to not only confuse the body but also not allow it to adapt to its environment. Because one the adaption is mastered, the stimulus is no longer as effective of an exercise - this hold true with many aspects of training and in life.

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The same can be said for our mindset as well. Changing the warm-ups, changing mobility and changing the workouts are only one facet of our development. Adaption, learn and modify. That is the spice of exercise.

Pull and push - jump and run! Have fun. And know that you are surrounded with individuals who are on your team. You are surrounded with decades of knowledge from not only your coaches but a community of vested and dedicated athletes that are eager to share their experiences as well as their undying commitment to the success of our team!

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In the Begining....

In the beginning there were three owners, six clients and a garage gym. No one cared about the gym’s image or marketing strategies. No one was concerned with competitive programming. Who could be bothered with box gear and pretty apparel?  It was a simpler time. A primal existence where people gravitated to Elm City CrossFit for the greater good; to better their lives – to be a part of a community who didn’t judge or criticize.

Fast forward til today – almost 6 years later! Two owners, ten coaches and hundreds of clients later we are faced with a very different landscape. Our simple essence and message has not changed but the mode and media on which we stand did. Now we have to speak with a political muzzle careful not to offend the invading local boxes. Taking the high road has become so disgustingly mundane that I have to sometimes look in the mirror and wonder what kind of coach I have become. I am a fighter, I have always been driven with the knowledge that people make the difference. We are in the relationship business; a relationship that relies on conviction, motivation, goals and hard work. Enough with the pretty paint and flashy programming- I call the end to marketing strategies, retention conversions and my box is better than yours!

Black Friday sales, Cyber Monday discounts, Groupons and flash membership sales! Would you discount your hard work? Would you take a discount on your life? Healthier and happier human beings, a collection of like- minded individuals who want to make a change towards a healthier life. An army of people whose only request is to participate in our community- one that is created on the idea that everyone can change and that community is not based on shirt sales but on the value and conviction to your athletic journey. There are no pre-requisites, qualifying credit scores or a list of bullet points on your athletic resume. 

During this official beginning of the holiday season, I ask for one gift. The gift of forgiveness to me and my fellow CrossFit coaches and owners who have become what we so distastefully set out not become. In return, I will extend my helping hand to anyone who will take the challenge and begin your journey with our community. We are New Haven areas oldest CrossFit Box – Elm City CrossFit, I am proud to call it my box but more importantly I’m proud to call it my home. ~The Average Joe

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Elm City CrossFit Paleo Challenge

PALEO CHALLENGE RULES

Dates:  November 10th  – February 10th

Entry Fee: $30

This is not a weight loss competition.  This challenge is a way to better health and a longer happier life. 

Before and After:

Pictures: Front and back view

Measurements: Body weight, waist circumference, and body fat

Performance: CrossFit WOD: “Jackie”

Daily Requirements:

1.  Eat Real Food.

2.  Maintain a food log

3.  Record you daily scores on the ECC Paleo Board

 

Eat Meat and Vegetables, Some Nuts and Fruit, Little Starch, and…
NO PROCESSED FOODS

 

This is not a weight loss challenge – it is a challenge to better our health and wellness, through eating only the best foods out there.

Will we see a loss of body fat during this challenge? Absolutely!
However that is simply a result of becoming healthier, by eating the way food was meant to be consumed… in it’s natural, unaltered state.

Real food grows in the wild – the way nature intended. “Food-stuffs” are man-made creations that may resemble food, but are truly not. We’re dropping that from our diets.

If you can’t hunt or gather it in the wild, it’s not something you should be eating.
(You won’t find a box of Chex Mix growing from a tree)


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SCORING

4 Points
Perfect day of eating. No cheats.

3 Points
One minor slip. Milk in the coffee, condiments (salad dressing, mayo, bbq sauce, ketchup, etc), a tortilla chip, a Cheerio.

2 Points
Significant slip, but not an entire meal:  One glass of wine or beer, finished your kid’s Mac ’N Cheese, piece of bread at dinner.

1 Points
Major slip. Pizza or pasta for dinner, 2 beers at a game, ice cream.

0 Points
More than one solid cheat throughout the day. 2+ meals lost.

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BONUS POINTS
There is a chance for up to (3) Bonus Points per Day

• A CrossFit class at ECC
• 8+ hours of sleep every night
• 64oz of water

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For this challenge, follow the Golden Rule above – Eat Meat and Veg…etc.
It’s truly as simple as that.
That will categorize 99% of foods to be Paleo or not.
For that 1%, the “Grey Area”, here’s our challenge-specific rules:

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Say NO to:

• All flours. Almond flour, coconut flour
• All sweeteners… honey, agave nectar, stevia, coconut sugar, cocao
• Alcohol
• Dairy… cream in the coffee, cheeses, yogurt
• Corn and corn products
• Unnaturally processed condiments, dressings, sauces, marinades, or spices (read the labels)
• Dried Fruit
• White Potato, Rice, Quinoa
• Legumes (Peanuts, Beans, Soy)
• Gum
• Canola, vegetable, soybean, grapeseed oils
• All protein bars. Quest Bars, Kaleo Cookies, Lara Bars
• Juicing fruit (blending is OK – fiber + vitamins are lost when juicing)
• All sport supplements that are not directly before, during, or after training
• Whey protein, Fuel for Fire, Ultima, Kill Cliff… *See below for more details.

***

Commonly asked, and are OK:

• Deli Meats (as long as there isn’t sugar added)
• Bacon
• Sweet Potato (but not restaurant sweet potato fries… it can get ugly)
• Balsamic Vinegar (“Vinaigrettes” commonly have added sugars). Look into “Tessamae’s” dressings!
• Coconut, olive, avocado, and nut oils
• Coconut milk, almond milk
• Grass-Fed butter, Ghee, Nutritional Yeast, Baking Soda/Powder, Salt
• Green Beans and Peas
• Coffee (black) and Tea (unsweetened), Seltzer Water
• Chicken and Beef broth/stock
• Mustards and Hot Sauces made with natural ingredients (check labels for sugars, unhealthy oils). Franks Red Hot is a go.

***

“ Can you explain the Post-Workout deal? ”

      We encourage proper pre and post-workout nutrition! We are going to classify pre and post to be within 45 minutes of your workout. If taken outside that window, they will be points off your daily total. Whey protein (to include Fuel for Fire), Ultima, BCAA’s, Creatine, Kill Cliff. This window applies to any workout, whether at ECC or not.


“ What about going out to dinner? ”

      It is not our goal to become anti-social cave-dwellers! Still go out and enjoy – just be selective with your orders. Every restaurant out there will have options for some sort of meat/seafood as the main course. Start with that, and ask for extra veggies for the sides. Good to go, and is in the clear for the challenge!


“ Can you explain the Bonus Points? ”

There is a chance for up to three bonus points per day, on top of the original four.

- A CrossFit class at ECC. We love seeing our athletes come to the gym and encourage routine class attendance. Has to be at ECC, and has to be a class!

- 64+ ounces of water a day. Coffee or juices don’t count – has to be pure water.

- 8+ hours of sleep every 24. This is time asleep, to include naps during the day. If you get up in the middle of the night for a few hours, those don’t count.

***

RESOURCES

http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/meal-plans-shopping-guides/

http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/thePaleoSolution_FoodMatrix.pdf

Recipe Websites:

http://paleomg.com
http://www.paleoplan.com
http://contemporarycavegirl.wordpress.com (Jen Lawrence’s site)
http://nomnompaleo.com

***
LASTLY…
Use the comments section on the website!

If you have a question about something, it’s almost guaranteed someone else has the same one too. Let’s not only use this as a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), but also to share recipes and experiences.

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From our own Mr. John Cocca

A good friend of Jess and I who is a fellow crossfitter was recently diagnosed with  Stage IV Mantle Cell Lymphoma. Her story can be found at the following link:

https://www.everyday-warrior.org/featured-warrior-jen-friese/

Since she is an everyday warrior, I’m going to sign-up for the battle series:

https://www.everyday-warrior.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/BATTLE-SERIES-FLYER.jpg

The event helps raise money for people fighting cancer. The Battle Series is an annual 4 week online competition hosted each November. Participants will complete 1 workout a week over 4 weeks, much like the CrossFit Open! There will be various divisions to include RX, Scaled and Masters to ensure everyone can go to battle! The wods are already posted and are relatively easy!

So come join me and register!! The first person to sign up can pick “other” as the gym and type in elm city. It will then list us!

/https://www.everyday-warrior.org/register

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The HULK SMASH Award

As many of you know, I'm kind of a geek.  Comic books are just one of my issues [I'm sure you've seen my sneaker collection].  Anyway, Joe and I were thinking about ways to recognize athletes for working hard and had two thoughts, do we go He-man / She-ra and make it a male/female every few weeks, or do we go with one award to acknowledge one bad ass at a time.  Well, the one bad ass at a time plan won, and therefore a 15 inch Hulk action figure seemed the obvious choice for the award.

This award represents an individual who the coaches at Elm City CrossFit have noticed working extremely hard, whether that be a gutsy performance, long term success, etc. [you get the picture, we determine the criteria as we go, but the common thread is hard work and personal improvement].

Every two weeks [give or take as there is one award and we need to make sure we get it back], we will present the award.  We will post a picture of the athlete on Facebook and/or Instagram, so follow us [@elmcitycrossfit] and check there for announcements!  In return from the winner, we want some pictures of you and your buddy, The Hulk, doing whatever it is that you do together.  My goal is to tie this into my new found social media ninja skills.  I'm hoping that we can not only acknowledge people, but have a little fun in doing so!

As I had mentioned in my previous Facebook post, the first winner has already been decided upon, and I am looking to make the first presentation this week.

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PR?! Not Even Close....

PR stands for personal record but PR does not mean personal record! Too much goes into those two single letters; the time, the commitment, the sweat, the sacrifice, the will to force all of our energies and efforts to one single result.  

Elm City CrossFit is a community of many, but in most cases it is a battle of one. We make these advancements and victories daily all in name of the elusive PR! What is your PR? Only you can decide.  Hail to the victory in defeat of the old, the normal, the comfortable and the ordinary. We are a community of individuals of persistence, process, promotion and pride.

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ECC - Athlete Experience ~ Matt

So today i was at the the gym and i took part in a conversation that really made me think. Sometimes, people can forget to look beyond the bar in front of them. Just like staring at the ass of the person in front of you on the running boards on busy days, you gotta keep in mind that that ass is attached to someone who’s crashing and burning in the middle of the WOD with you.
When i was younger, there were always super intense swim meets for CIAC champs and their subdivisions. Sometimes, you couldn’t hear yourself think in some of the natatoriums. People would rock the friggen roof cheering for a MAXIMUM of 8 people (relays the exception).

At ECC there’s no reason why sh*t shouldn’t echo to New Haven when you see someone putting in all the effort they have to straighten their back in the middle of their 8000 squats or slug their feet back underneath them during their trillion burpees or whatever sweet torture they’re sloshing their way through. They want it just as badly as you, as anybody, as everybody. We definitely want it as a gym.

Definitely a secret to success (Ex High School Captain approved).

P.s. Go Huskies

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ECC - Athlete Experience ~Lib

Athlete Experience ~ Lib

I have participated in sports ever since I knew how to kick a soccer ball, run around a track, balance on a beam, shoot a ball, swing a bat, and hold my breathe. So when I moved on from high school sports to collegiate sports, being an athlete was essentially all I knew how to do. Challenging people and being challenge by other people was the greatest high, and I could never get enough. I would wake up at 5am to go jump in freezing cold water. Then I would manage to stay awake all day during my classes to then return to the pool and have yet another practice of swimming and then weights. No one ever told me being an athlete would be that much work. But what got me through all those years, was my competitive drive. I hated losing no matter who it was to, or what I was doing. That drive is what got me through my collegiate years as an athlete. And when that was finished...I had nothing to do. Nothing to fill my competitive drive. Nothing to make me feel as comfortable as I did racing or competing against other people. Until I found Elm City CrossFit, it gave me that time everyday, where I could be as competitive as I wanted. It is what I had been missing since I retired from swimming. It gave me that competition that I love to do, but what was different from this type of competition is it was not dirty, mean or judging. It was the complete opposite. It was friends pushing each other to better one another, and helping each other to finish the workouts. It was the positive competition and that I had missed, and that is one thing that keeps me coming back for more each day. Yes the competition is very important to me but the teamwork we have at the gym is another. It is a community within a gym where coming in first or last does not matter. We help positively push one another, not taking offense if we come in last. We use it as motivation for that next workout. Being a competitive athlete is great but being able to say you are a competitive person at a competitive gym that puts an emphasis on teamwork is and means that much more great!

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So Long - But not Goodbye!

by Allison Tamagna

I walked into ECC anxious to dive in head first and anxious about what I was signing myself up for. I had spent the past 8 months running daily and dieting, losing 55 lbs. I felt great, but knew that I wanted more out of myself. I’m a person of extremes. I either go all in with something, or not at all. Previous to my weight loss journey I treated my body like shit. I was eating terribly and lying in bed all day. As a kid, sports were my life, and I spent most of my time either practicing baseball, swimming, soccer, tennis, and volleyball…the list goes on. Being active was my escape from what was going on at home. I unfortunately lost my love for sports when I went off the deep end. At 12, I began to show symptoms of PTSD. All different diagnoses and medications were thrown my way as I jumped between hospitalizations and day programs through high school. I gave up on my life, and let myself turn into a ball of anxiety, isolation and severe depression, gaining a lot of weight in the process.

Running daily felt boring and more like a chore. I was doing it purely to shed fat and not for health or therapeutic reasons. When I walked into ECC and saw all the insane shit these people were doing – throwing heavy weighted barbells over their heads and doing hand stand push ups – I felt a spark inside of me. I quickly fell in love with training. Maybe a little obsessed at first. It was like falling in love and going through the honeymoon stage. My body began to change, but more importantly, my mental state was changing. Training became my way to meditate. As you can guess, meditation and relaxation is a seemingly impossible task for a person who is constantly living on high alert. The definition of meditation is to be truly in the now. Every time I enter ECC, I let go of everything for an hour (or more), and only focus on working my hardest and being a better me – in the present moment.

After 7 months at ECC, I had to make the decision to move back to New York. This meant finding a new “box”. As I tried out multiple boxes in my area, I realized more and more how truly special ECC is. Coach Joe went above and beyond to ensure my success. I came in not even being able to do a proper squat (though I had a nice rack), and he still believed in my potential. He understood what it meant to be a former fatass and could recognize true dedication and hard work. I was a graffiti artist for some time, so Joe even asked me to paint murals on the inside and outside of the gym, as well as create t-shirt designs for ECC. Not only did he create an incredibly comfortable space to train hard in, he created a place for me to freely express myself in.

Even though Joe leads the “premiere-coaching event of the week”, he wasn’t the only contributing factor to what makes ECC so special. All the other coaches have always been incredibly caring and extremely helpful – observing and correcting my form as much as possible and even staying longer than they needed to so that they could work with me one on one with things I needed extra help with. The community there has also been amazingly supportive and welcoming.  Even though I’ve still got a long way to go, I’ve come so much farther than I ever thought I would.  My anxiety has tremendously decreased within the past few months and I greatly thank ECC for that. I’ve found myself as an athlete again as well as an incredible family within ECC and that truly means the world to me. You’ve all made such a positive impact on my life that I will carry with me forever.

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Just Let Go!

Assessment is key to forward progress but sometimes you just need to purge. We are all held back by something. Can you think of anything off the top of your head? The problem with items you need to purge is that they are insignificant and require no attention, presence, space or even existence. Break through your horder sense to hang on and cut the cord. You will not realize how liberating it will feel! More importantly, cutting ties with needless items will better equip you to focus on what really matters. No matter your path or your goals, everyone can benefit from a healthy separation of non-critical sludge. Don't let be defined by the items that keep you back- break free!

Need further motivation? Look at the picture below taken from my friend: Kathrine Zervakis owner at CrossFit Halo... Sums it up pretty good I think!

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Came For the Challenge, Kept Coming for the Community

by Lauren

This weekend at Elm City Crossfit was bittersweet. Coach Joe created a gruesome workout called “The Graduate” to celebrate all the accomplishments of the Crossfitters who would be graduating, moving away, and saying goodbye to the box. This workout was followed by a huge barbeque for the whole community, filled with food, friends, and family. After the workout, as I reflected on the past 1.5 years I’ve spent at Elm City Crossfit, I realized something: I thought the reason I fell in love with Crossfit was the challenge, but really it was much more than that motivating me every day. The physical challenge brought me to Crossfit. But the sense of community kept me coming back.

I joined Elm City Crossfit for the challenge when I was a law student at Yale University. I needed to push myself physically in a safe and efficient workout program. I was active before and enjoyed working out, but I was not motivated at the school fitness center that was lacking a lot of equipment and quality classes. As a law student, I found I also didn’t have as much time to dedicate to working out as I did when I was in college. The pounds were slowly creeping on and the muscle mass was depleting. That is where Crossfit came in: I would be able to get an intense workout in only an hour a day.

When I first arrived I was intimidated by the athletes around me. They were strong, fast, and had endurance I could only dream of. If I wanted a challenge, I was in the right place. I watched them in awe do pull-ups, upside down handstand pushups, ropes climbs, and lift their body weight multiple times in a row. I set goals for myself to one day do these movements too, and slowly I started reaching the goals. I was able to jump rope “double unders,” add more weight to my lifts, get upside down in handstand holds, and even compete at local Crossfit tournaments. I took part in Coach Joe’s “OPP” special programming, which prepared me to complete the 2014 Crossfit Open at the Rx weights. When I arrived I couldn’t even lift the weights the athletes were using in the Crossfit Open competition once – and now I was doing it repeatedly for five weeks in a row. As I met each small goal I felt for myself, I felt confident in my performance. The last Crossfit milestone I reached just before leaving the box – completing a rope climb to the top of the rope and ringing the bell – was especially satisfying.

But this last week, after climbing the rope for the first time and completing the “Graduate” workout, I realized that these milestones didn’t represent how good of an athlete I was. Instead, they represented all the support, coaching, and community encouragement and love I’d received over the past year and a half. Without them, I could have never have done any it. I told myself I would never be able to do a rope climb because I wasn’t strong enough – and it was only through the patience of multiple long coaching sessions that I realized I could. I would have never believed in myself enough to compete in the Crossfit Open or local tournaments without the encouragement (or nagging) of Coach Joe and his belief in me as an athlete. I would have never been able to force myself out of bed early on weekends in the cold winter months without my teammates and girlfriends – I knew if I missed a workout I said I would attend, they would message me on Facebook wondering why I wasn’t there. I would have given up and set the bar down in a local competition where we performed a workout for charity called “Grace” without Coach Mark screaming at me and cheering me on when the last reps got tough. These coaches and fellow athletes defined my experience as a Crossfitter, and pushed me to new levels of fitness I did not know I was capable of achieving.

The hardest part about leaving Connecticut won’t be leaving Elm City Crossfit and the daily workouts. It will be leaving the people of ECC. They became mentors and teammates inside the gym, and friends outside. Together we laughed, cried, celebrated personal records, and got through injuries and serious illnesses. On “Team Thursdays” I completed the workouts with other members I had never spoken to before, performing as a team, making new friends, and forging the bonds of community in workouts, and in barbeques and potlucks after.  When I was all alone on Thanksgiving, they invited me to share the holiday with their families. We supported each other inside and outside the gym. The gym became my second home, and the people my extended family here.

I know when I move I will be able to find another Crossfit box filled with barbells, kettlebells, jump ropes, and pull-up bars and lots of hard workouts to fill my days. That is why my last week at ECC has been so bittersweet. I realized what I love so much about Crossfit isn’t the challenge – it’s the community. And I’m afraid that I’ll never find another community as strong, loving, accepting, and encouraging as Elm City Crossfit.

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Slacking :\

School is almost over, and it is finally summer. The season that I have been waiting for and working hard for all year.  But lately I have hit a slump of working out a few times a week, which is not a good feeling. I used the workouts over the past week and a half as a stress releaser. I would go into the workout using it as a break and a way to get out ALL of my frustration. But now that I have nothing to do all I want to do is relax and sleep and let’s not forget eat…a lot. Until recently I read up on a handful of motivational books, blogs, and quotes. And it got me thinking if I wanted to be the best and look great this summer then I just had to buckle down and push myself to the goals I want to achieve. And this is looking and feeling great this summer. Just a few quotes that inspired me...and possibly you?

 

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice” - Wayne Dyer.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time” - Thomas A. Edison.

“You will never know your limits unless you push yourself to them”.

“The number one reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten”.

Check out the 5:30 am class