Why We Wait

Remember the first time you walked into a CrossFit gym? If you come from an athletic background walking into a CrossFit gym for the first time may not have been a unique experience for you, but if you don’t it can be utterly terrifying staring at equipment you have no idea how to use, looking at the whiteboard that’s written in a different language, or staring at the incredibly fit individuals picking up a barbell that weighs more than they do. Not too long ago, I (Coach Kendra) used to break out in hives because I was so nervous about going to the gym. I would sometimes drive all the way there just to turn around and go back home because just seeing everyone WODing through the windows would cause me so much anxiety. While the gym can be an incredible place that fosters fitness, community, and fun, for some the gym represents a place of failure, insecurity, mental barriers, or feeling out of place, at least at the beginning.

That’s why we want to thank our ECCF community for valuing every single athlete’s workout and waiting for everyone to finish their WOD before putting gear away. While it may be a small change to you, it means the world to athletes who are already having a bad day or are just starting out on their fitness journey. No one likes finishing last, but absolutely no one likes finishing last when everyone else has put their gear away and is leaving the gym or standing around and talking. At ECCF we want to honor everyone’s fitness journey and give them space and time to accomplish their WOD.

One of the most incredible aspects of CrossFit is the community and it’s the reason why for many of us, the gym is our second home. Waiting for everyone to finish their WOD is just one way we can foster that community and show that we value everyone’s unique personal goals.

When you walk through the door you are not only at ECCF for your personal fitness, but you are there for your fellow athletes. They may need your encouragement, smile, or hi-five more than you know. Teamwork makes the dream work, and those around us make us better, stronger, and faster.

So when you finish your WOD, grab a roller, sit down and drink that protein shake, hop on the bike for a cool-down ride or grab a band for some extra mobility while you cheer on your fellow athletes! You just might be the reason they come back again and again, accomplishing their goals one day at a time.

-Coach Kendra

January Member of the Month

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Tell us about yourself!
I'm from NYC so still getting used to the rain and all the politeness. My wife and I have an amazing 2-year-old son and an adorable yellow lab named Whitney Houston. In addition to CrossFit, my hobbies mostly include sleeping and working. But I love to cook, read, bike, and play video games, and look forward to doing those things when Will goes to college...

What inspired you to start CrossFit?
I was looking for an early morning workout that had a very positive competitive aspect. CrossFit has given me an awesome combination of positivity and encouragement, with pushes to do better and improve alongside the folks I work out with.

What are your fitness goals?
I want to be strong and healthy for a long time, so I'm excited to build an awesome foundation of conditioning, strength, and flexibility. More specifically I still need to master double-unders, I want to do a muscle-up, and my deadlifts need work!

What do you enjoy most about Emerald City CrossFit?
I love how hard it is! :) I love how after my early morning, the rest of my day feels easy. The coaches are incredibly positive, knowledgeable, and supportive. And maybe most of all I love the community - I think without the folks I work out with every morning, I would have lost steam a while ago!

What advice do you have for new members?
I wish I had started off more slowly with weight/intensity, but more quickly gotten to a consistent 4-5 times/week. A lot of my aches and pains went away, and I started making much quicker progress, when I stopped pushing myself on weight but started coming almost every morning.

What message do you have for your gym family?
Thank you for being so positive and encouraging every morning, even though it's early!

December Member of the Month

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Tell us about yourself! 

My name is Kayla. I have worked in allied healthcare for a couple of years, but currently I am going to back to school for Nursing. Less than a year to go! I love anything outdoors (hiking and skiing are my favorites). But sometimes I just like to chill at home with my hedgehog. Favorite foods include anything and everything peanut butter. 

What inspired you to start CrossFit?

In college, I was a long distance runner doing full and half marathons. After years of running, I realized that my endurance was great but I could barely lift 10 pound dumbbells and my knees were already starting to hurt. I started doing your typical globo gym work out, but that was SO BORING and I missed the competitive aspect. I had heard of crossfit. So Fall of 2015 I did my first WOD and loved it!

What are your fitness goals?

Currently, I am still working on my strength in all things. But my main goal is to do pull-ups without the band. 

What do you enjoy most about Emerald City CrossFit?

I love how encouraging and friendly all of the members and staff are. It doesn't matter if you are an RX+ athlete or just beginning. Everyone is welcomed, encouraged, and supported. Its a great atmosphere!

What advice do you have for new members?

My advice would be consistency. You don't have to be at the gym 7 days a week, but come consistently because you will start to see improvement and that is true motivation! 

What message do you have for your gym family?

Y'all are awesome! I always leave the gym sweating and with a smile!

Yoga With Nathaniel Starts this Sunday!

Hello, Everyone! I look forward to meeting you and, in advance of our meeting, I wanted to send out a few quick thoughts identifying my hopes for adding yoga to your existing program. As time goes on, I’ll work with Kendra and Joe to offer more specific insights, and, for my first installment, I wanted to offer a frame for adding yoga to your life.

Consider yoga as a practice of integration. The word ‘yoga’ arrives from the Sankrit yuj (‘to yoke’), which, to me, means you’re connecting seemingly disconnected things when you’re practicing yoga. At CrossFit, you’re practicing high-intensity resistance training in a variety of movement planes. Yoga can offer a way to consider what actions connect these movements. The practice, thereby, supports you in more efficiently engaging your mind, your breath, and your body to improve overall performance. When I’ve worked with athletes before, I’ve seen them improve their range of motion, efficiency, and recovery time even after just a few sessions of yoga.

I like to also think of yoga as an active recovery method. The physical practice emphasizes isometric actions that help improve proprioception, muscle extensibility, and overall flexibility. Furthermore, the breath can be used in service of activating the ‘rest and digest’ aspect of your nervous system, which supports you in the recovery portion of your workout. My training has been specifically organized around a set of alignment principles that exist to keep you safe in your body, while also challenging you to build strength, flexibility, and maybe even do some cool arm balances.

My hope is simple. As you come to the practice, your workouts improve as well. I want to make sure I’m continuing to support you in your journey as a part of the Emerald City CrossFit community. If you have ideas for future classes (things you want to work on, muscle groups that feel important to open up, any injuries, etc.), please do not hesitate to contact me at nathaniel.amos@gmail.com.

I look forward to seeing you on your mat!


Holiday Gift Guide 2018

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Don’t know what to get that CrossFit loving cousin of yours? Or shopping for yourself (it’s okay, we all do it)? Below are our favorite holiday gifts for the CrossFit lover in your life!

CrossFit Specific Shoes & Lifters
Without a doubt, the number one gift for any CrossFit lover is new shoes! Just like specialty shoes for hiking, biking, soccer, rock climbing, and much more, we also need good, supportive shoes made specifically for our sport—CrossFit. Shoes designed specifically for CrossFit will help support you in the Olympic lifts and are designed to help you perfect that squat. Lifters offer added height to the heel to help with ankle mobility, hip mobility, and even shoulder mobility. While this doesn't mean you get to quit all that mobility work, it can help get into those demanding positions with less restrictions and more stability!  Different brands offer different benefits and different heel heights, see below for your coaches favorites!

  • Coach Joe’s Favorite Shoes: Nike Metcon 4 & Nike Romaleo 3

    • The Nike Metcon 4 provides a strong, stable base, flexible support, and is very durable.  It's the best of both worlds - I can squat and deadlift heavy (well, heavy for me) and run and jump comfortably!  GET SOME!

    • The Romaleo works great for athletes who have limited ankle mobility like me!  These lifters have a very high heel lift and hard sole.  I'm hitting deeper squats than ever with these bad boys, and looking fashionable, too!  Be aware, these are just for lifting and won't work for very many WODs like some of the hybrid lifters will. 

  • Coach Kendra’s Favorite: Nike Metcon DSX FlyKnit 2

    • This shoe has a narrower fit and fits like a glove. It is light weight but also has enough heel lift to make those squats just a little bit easier!

  • The OG: Reebok Nano

    • If you've been with CrossFit from the start the Nano is the way to go! It's cheaper than any other option and Rebook frequently runs sales. Many OG ahtletes and coaches swear by the Nano. 

  • The Cool Kids: No Bull

    • If you're interested in hanging with the cool kids, the No Bull is a must have! They have some awesome color options, high tops, and even genuine leather. Coach Kendra loves these for longer, body weight WODs as they are light weight, have a flatter bottom, and are great for running!

Mobility and Recovery Tools
Besides optimal nutrition and good sleep, active recovery on your rest days is the best way to see gains in the gym. We hit it hard when we are at the gym, so it is important to give your muscles some love! Not only can these be great to have at home, but great in the office too!

  • Foam Roller: Use just like we do in the gym, but in the comfort of your own home while catching up on your latest Netflix binge. Our favorite is the Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller.

  • Lacrosse Ball: Yet again, the perfect active recovery to do while watching your favorite show.

  • Monster Band: Monster bands are great to have at home for a little extra mobility work that you can't get done in the gym. 

Nutrition Tools
Getting to the gym is hard enough, let alone making sure you have the right fuel to get through the WOD. Below are our favorite kitchen gadgets to make life just a little bit easier.

  • Food Scale: This cheap addition to your kitchen just might be the best decision you have ever made. While we like to think we are getting enough protein, or that the peanut butter we shoveled out is only one serving, often times we severely over estimate. This is Coach Kendra’s favorite way to dial in her nutrition!

  • InstantPot: This kitchen tool is by far the best time saver. Cooks sweet potatoes in less than 10 minutes, a full size pork roast in 30, and winter soups are done in a snap. The InstantPot also doubles as a slow cooker and rice cooker, and is a great way to boost your protein intake.

  • HydroFlask with Straw Lid: This water bottle will make drinking water your favorite activity of the day! Keeps water cold all day long, doesn’t sweat, and the straw lid makes it easy to sip away all day!

WOD Tools
Let’s face it, sometimes you just need some support to help you get through the WOD. Below are our favorite WOD tools to help make sure you get through the WOD safely and efficiently.

  • Jump Rope: If you have been struggling to get double unders, buying your own jump rope is a must! The consistency in length, weight, and feel will help you see faster improvements. If one style doesn't work, try another. Everyone is different when it comes to the weight of the rope and the type of handle they prefer. Jump ropes also make for a great customizable gift. 

  • Rogue Wrist Wraps: While there are tons of options in this department, we love the Rogue brand because they are a snap to put on, and are extra supportive.

  • Rehband Knee Sleeves: The stinkiest yet most commonly used WOD tool. These sleeves help warm those knees up in the winter months and provide stability and compression to keep those knees feeling good. Coach Joe recommends boiling them every few months to avoid the stank.

  • Harbinger Weight Belt: While weight belts shouldn’t be constantly relied upon, they can be a great way to help you get that PR. Our favorite is the Harbinger because of the wide back, variety of colors, and extra cushion.

  • Gym Bag: We will be clearing out the gym, so you will need something to cart all these WOD tools around in. Our favorite? Lululemon. Rogue also has some great options!

November Member Of The Month!

Hey ECCF!  Help us congratulate Max Eddy, our #memberofthemonth!!

Max is consistent, has a great work ethic, works on skills before class, is on time (aka 10 minutes early!), is coachable and is a joy to have in the gym!  Most importantly, Max always has a great attitude and is eager to grow!

Keep killin' it, Max!  Thanks for being a part of our #gymfamily!!

Age: 28

Occupation: Software Engineer

In general, what is your athletic background?

I've never really participated in any sports or other serious athletic endeavors before. I have "exercised" vaguely on and off over the years.

How did you learn about Emerald City CrossFit (ECCF) ?

I typed CrossFit into Google Maps and I found it was 2 blocks down the street, had good reviews, and a cool website that made things less intimidating.

How has ECCF changed your life, lifestyle, and level of fitness?

I actually have some cardiovascular endurance now. For example, I went hiking with some friends recently and I felt fresh the entire way while they were huffing and puffing. I feel and look much better after only a few short months.

List short/long term goals you would like to accomplish through ECCF:

My squat and deadlift need a lot of work. 2x BW squat + deadlift would make me happy. Long term being reasonably decent at Olympic lifts would be cool.

What do you like most about ECCF?

All of the coaches are super awesome.

What is your favorite CrossFit movement?

Strict pull ups

What is your least favorite CrossFit movement?

Overhead squat because I feel like it takes arcane magic in order to execute.

Favorite WOD:

The ones that look like a mistake when you read them on Zen Planner. "How can anyone do all of that?" Then you go to class and find out that they are in fact real workouts.

What are you currently doing to try to improve your nutrition?

I consume caffeine and alcohol rarely. Attempting to eat less processed foods, eat more vegetables, and avoid sweets as I tend to lose myself when donuts are present.

Favorite movie:

Independence Day for the ultimate 90s cheesiness.

Favorite and/or current book:

Why We Sleep: Unlocking The Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker - This book is fascinating, and I'm working on improving my sleep quality.

Favorite music genre/artist:

I enjoy a lot of different music, but I'm a metalhead at heart. One of my favorites is the band Gojira.

What do you like to do outside the gym?

Eat food and sleep. Stay up late watching bad movies and reality TV.

Fun fact about yourself others may not know?

I could not swim until this year. I've been taking adult swim lessons, and now I'm finally confident I won't immediately drown if I hit the water.

In 10 words or less, what does CrossFit mean to you?

An effective way to workout for functional fitness and fun!

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October Member Of The Month!

October Member Of The Month: Christiane Rekai

Hey @emeraldcitycrossfit!  Help us congratulate Christiane, our September Member Of The Month!!

Christiane came to Emerald City CF from the CD box and she continues to show up, put the work in, and always does it with a huge smile! (And she has a great sense of humor too!) She is a determined athlete and has put her progress to use recently having run a ½ marathon!  Watch out for this lady, she is sneaky strong!!

Congrats, Christiane!  Thanks for all you bring to our #gymfamily!

Age: 46

Occupation:  Cardiac Surgery Nurse Practitioner

In general, what is your athletic background?  

I was not very sporty as a kid; did a little gymnastics and swimming, but not seriously. About 15 years ago a friend asked me to do a sprint distance triathlon, and I got hooked on cycling.  I did a some road and track racing, and while I loved riding, I didn't care much for racing. I've continued with road riding and last year did the Seattle to Portland ride in a day. I also love mountaineering and have climbed some really fun tall mountains in the past few years.

How did you learn about Emerald City CrossFit (ECCF)?  

I came from CrossFit CD, which was in my neighborhood.

How has ECCF changed your life, lifestyle, and level of fitness?  

Left my own devices I'd never lift a weight, so I'm happy to have help addressing that part of my training. I'm generally stronger and much less bored with workouts.

What do you like most about ECCF?  

Competent coaches who help me feel more confident with strength work, and the other members who are really fun to work out with.  

What is your favorite CrossFit movement?

Bodyweight stuff like planks and air squats

What is your least favorite CrossFit movement?

Overhead press

Favorite WOD:

I like all of them!

What are you currently doing to try to improve your nutrition?  

Always trying to drink more water and less alcohol, trying to eat more red meat

Favorite movie:  The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover

Favorite and/or current book:  Currently re-reading Atlas Shrugged

Favorite music genre/artist:  I like all kinds of stuff but have been enjoying folk music lately

What do you like to do outside the gym?  

Go up mountains, bake, nap, spend time with friends

Fun fact about yourself others may not know?

I spent the early 90s going to raves and clubs in NYC and Philly!

In 10 words or less, what does CrossFit mean to you?  

Great workout with a side of smiles!

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