crossfit

How to Be a Beginner

Butterflies bounced around my stomach and I nervously spun my ring around my finger. I kept my eyes down so no one would talk to me. I whispered questions to Jeff about what to expect, what to do, where to put my bag and when to take off my shoes. I felt very uncomfortable and unsure. I’d wanted to try jujitsu for some time, but finally decided I was ready to try into my first class.

Last week, I tried Jujitsu for the first time. And for the first time in a while, I got a bold reminder of what it feels like to be a beginner — to be completely new. To swallow my fear, anxiety, and nervous thoughts and walk through a door to try something completely different and outside my comfort zone.

I’m sure I had similar feelings the first time I tried CrossFit (which feels like a lifetime ago now), but as I entered the jujitsu studio I kept reminding myself that everyone I was about to meet started as a beginner at some point in their life. That just like new members that enter CrossFit Ampersand for their first On-Ramp class, my nervous feelings were normal but weren’t a reason to turn around and run.

Being a beginner is uncomfortable.

Trying something new is uncomfortable. Especially when you’re in a group with other people that aren’t beginners or aren’t as new of a beginner as you.

My experience was a whole bunch of uncomfortable moments, including:

  • Wearing the only loaner Gi (uniform) that they had in my size, that just happened to be BRIGHT PINK (while everyone else was wearing white, blue, or black).

  • Feeling like I’m putting another student out when they were paired with me to practice some drills and they literally had to teach me the entire time.

  • Apologizing over and over when I did a move wrong and had to restart and try it again.

  • Laughing nervously every time I’d forget the next step of what I was supposed to be trying.

  • Feeling the eyes of the entire class on me when I was introduced as the new member (as if being the only one wearing a bright pink uniform didn’t help me stand out already!).

  • Smashing my body into the bodies of a few complete strangers. Hi, I’m Harmony, let me hug you with my legs. Oh and here’s some of my sweat.

  • Being asked by one of the instructors if I had learned to “horsey,” if I remembered what position was “guard,” or if I had drilled “blahbidy-blah (insert-other-technical-jujitsu-term-that-I-can’t-remember-here)” and staring back with a blank face

  • Hearing "Just do what feels natural” while being folded up like a stepped on spider as my opponent stretches one arm and one leg in opposite directions and simultaneously traps my neck in their arm and continues to press my entire body into the floor… *nervous laugh* nothing feels natural to escape, except that wriggling motion I tried which clearly made my position even worse. LOL.

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BUT… I LOVED IT.

Once I decided to take it one minute at a time and allowed myself to be a beginner, it was awesome.

Everyone was encouraging and helpful. They didn’t care that I didn’t know what things were called or that I didn’t magically pick everything up after being shown once — because they weren’t expecting me to. They helped me over and over. And I accepted the help, thanked them for the help, and asked for help when I needed it.

I was still uncomfortable because it was new. But it was a really fun experience. And the fun new experience outweighed the nervous uncomfortableness.

Stepping back into CF& as a coach made me reflect on my beginner jujitsu experience and reminded me of a few things:

  1. We should try new things, and regularly. Our life is made up of our experiences. Every time we try something new it expands the boundary of those experiences and makes life more interesting, more relatable, and you become more adaptable to future challenges/experiences. So try a new sport, a new hairstyle, accept the invitation to that class your friend asked you to try, or book an appointment for some activity you’ve always wanted to do but were too scared. If you have been curious about CrossFit and wanted to try it, do it.

  2. Allow yourself to be a beginner and be okay with being uncomfortable. You can be uncomfortable and still learn and have fun. Every time you repeat the process you move away from beginner towards novice then eventually expert.

  3. Remember that everyone who is an expert was once a beginner and at one point, started where you are.  When you join in on a group class, no-one is judging you for being a beginner. You aren’t expected to master anything in a day. Give it time. Accept and ask for help from those who are further along from you.

  4. Bring a friend. All new experiences are a little less daunting when you have someone you trust by your side experiencing it with you.

  5. Take small steps. At CrossFit Ampersand we start with a No Sweat Intro, which is a one-on-one chat with a coach where we discuss your goals, tour the gym and talk about how we can help you reach your goals. Then for most people they start with a few one on one personal training sessions (On-Ramp) before starting group classes. We teach them the movements they’ll encounter in class and ensure they can move safely. This helps buffer those beginner feelings and make joining in a little less daunting.

  6. Take action. I wish I had tried Jujitsu a year ago. I think back now to all those times thinking about telling Jeff I wanted to go in. All the times he asked me to try it and I shrugged it off (even though inside I wanted to go). If I had said yes — if I had ignored the anxious fear — I would have been doing it for a year now and be out of the early beginner stage already. But I’ve started and now I’m already on my 4th class!

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Interested in trying CrossFit?

Meet our next Intern, Erica!

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Hello there! My name is Erica. I am the oldest of five kids and a Northern Nevada native. Upon graduation from Boise State University with my BBA in Marketing, I moved across country to explore the beautiful state of North Carolina while working as a digital marketing specialist and obtaining my TEFL certification. After spending a year backpacking through Latin America while working as an English teacher, I am back in the USA pursuing my passion for health and wellness. 

I grew up a competitive swimmer, but love to try anything and everything active. I have competed in numerous events, including Ironman 70.3 Boulder and multiple marathons. I found CrossFit in 2015 and fell in love. It is unlike anything I have ever done and challenges me in new ways everyday, both physically and mentally.  I tried my first CrossFit competition the same year I started and ended up winning New Kids in the Box. I was hooked!

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From teaching swim lessons to fitness classes at university, I love sharing my passion with others. It only made sense to become a CF coach. I am a forever student, ready to learn from those willing to teach, and ready to teach those who are willing to learn. 

Meet our next Intern, Janine!

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Hi, I'm Janine and I've lived in the Carson Valley since 2006. My passions are my family, hiking, backpacking, and helping people find meaning and health on all levels. I have formal training as a yoga instructor and taught for several years in the Lake Tahoe area.

The discovery of CrossFit Ampersand came along for me in August 2017. I feel very fortunate to have our Box be my first exposure to CrossFit. I enjoy sharing the benefits of CrossFit and am committed to furthering my training in this field. I love that just about everyone can benefit from CrossFit... from the grandparent to elite athletes and everyone in between. Increased strength, power, speed, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy benefits everyone of us!

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Our training in the gym makes our lives better outside of the gym. My favorite thing is when I do something outside the gym that I wasn't previously able to do prior to joining CrossFit Ampersand. I look forward to hearing about what that is for YOU!

Meet James! Intern Extraordinaire!

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I am a Texan transplant at the age of five, so I claim the Carson Valley as my home. I've tried to leave multiple times but always come back. Nevada is just so free and open! Tahoe and the mountains really help keep life in perspective. Getting to see the stars every night and I love being able to hike, climb, camp, snowboard, hit the beach or fish at anytime I want.

I also love taking photos of nature, moss and little ecosystems. Drawing has been a passion of mine since I was a child.

I've always been competitive, but my fitness journey began with sports. I played football from age 12 till I was 19 and ran track all through high school and have trained in numerous other sports just for the fun. I was never the most talented, so i had to train harder to actually play or get noticed. My coaches gave me a good base of understanding of my body and fitness.

I had been coaching throughout my playing career and continued coaching football after it ended. I still lived the training aspect more so I started training kids on the side getting them ready for the season and helping at camps. Between my own training and coaching youth, I decided to try personal training. There was a lot within the industry I just didn't agree with at the time and didn't quite fit the mainstream fitness mold.

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Around then I was trying to join the military and started developing my own programming to fit the skills of the job I was going for. What I developed worked, but then I found CrossFit. Compete in and coaching CrossFit was my new passion. It had everything I wanted. Torturous workouts, full body movements, heavy lifts, could coach anyone and everyone, no mirrors or squat racks being used for flexing sessions, growing in knowledge was encouraged, and it was FUN!

What really hooked me was the community! In sports, supporting the community was essential. As an athlete you are to uphold the best in people and represent the best of the community outside yourself and the team. Without it, you have no team. You have no athletes. Your coaches are useless. The mainstream industry was way more individualistic. I missed that while trying to find where my life was headed and doing it in my own was terrifying at the time. In CrossFit everyone is an athlete and capable of the same great things and each of us is there to support their journey as well as pursue our own.

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At Crossfit Ampersand after 8 years in the sport and 3 boxes. A gym that has everything that got me into CrossFit is my home. The community support in this gym helped motivate me and helped me rediscover my passion for fitness. Helped put myself out there in ways I hadn't before. I look forward to returning the favor, helping people move and live full lives, building this community further and of course having some fun!





Meet Daunelle!

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I was (almost) born and raised in South Lake Tahoe in the early 1970's. I played "sports" with the kids down the street in the vacant lot, climbing rocks and trees, for hours! The only organized sports available to girls back then were swim team, ski team, and tennis. We couldn't afford the ski team, so I swam for almost ten years for the city of South Lake Tahoe, and for my high school, South Tahoe High. I also spent my four years of high school on the nordic ski team, where you "don't become king of the mountain by riding a chair lift." In college, I tried out for and made the lightweight varsity boat for the crew team. I was the "Stroke"...the first rower in the boat of eight that set the tempo for the rest of the team. I LOVED rowing! I would have continued with rowing had I not had the opportunity to study in Grenoble, France my junior year in college.  In France, I tried to stay fit, in between bites of baguette and yummy cheese! However, I did coach a local swim team while I lived in Grenoble. 

After college, I moved back to Tahoe and started teaching English at South Tahoe High School and French at Lake Tahoe Community College. I coached the high school's nordic ski team for a few years, but then left the high school and taught only at the junior college.  We raised two active daughters in South Lake Tahoe. Between skiing, soccer, swimming, horseback riding, and hiking, we were never bored. However, my husband must have thought otherwise because in 2009, he and his two friends opened South Tahoe CrossFit. 

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Initially, I thought CrossFit was a joke. How could anyone get a workout in a four minute Tabata or a 12 minute AMRAP? Well, the joke was on me. After a few workouts, I was hooked. It is the variation and functionality of the exercises that kept my attention, but the  community that is created between members was and still is the reason why I CrossFit. In 2010 I got my Level 1 cert., and then in 2012, I got my Level 2 and a Mobility certificate from CrossFit. I loved coaching, managing, and organizing events for and at our gym. We held several competitions and fundraisers for our region and community. A few years ago, I even won the Masters level at a regional competition! However, in 2017, we decided to sell our partnership to one of our awesome trainers because we had moved down to the valley and we couldn't give as much time to the gym as we used to. 

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I discovered CFAmpersand when my daughter started the Douglas Girls Lacrosse Club in 2017. She had asked me to coach the team, and we desperately needed some dry-land training. I approached Jeff and Harmony with our need and they graciously allowed us to use the facility for the two years I coached my daughter's team. From box jumps to burpees, those high school girls strangely looked forward to our time in the gym! While I no longer coach lacrosse, I have continued to stay active. Last fall I completed my first Spartan race, the Beast, at Squaw Valley. That race made me realize that I needed to increase my fitness, so I joined CFA. It was difficult getting to the gym this winter, but when Jeff and Harmony asked if I was interested in coaching again, things started to get back into focus for me. After I emphatically said, "Yes!" I realized that I had let my certificates expire last October...So, I will be taking my coaching certs again this month! 

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Thanks to Jeff and Harmony, and all the CFA members I've met these past few months. CrossFit Ampersand is a fantastic community of supportive members . You are the reason why we keep coming back day after day, difficult workout after difficult workout. 

2019 CrossFit Open and Ampersand's 2nd Annual Intramural!

The Open is coming… AND WE ARE EXCITED!

First things first, if you don’t know about the CrossFit Open, please read HERE.

This year we are excited to make participating in the Open even more fun! 

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Don’t let it intimidate you. It doesn’t matter where you place and YOU DEFINITELY WILL NOT BE LAST! There are countless thousands of people every year who don’t finish all 5 workouts and we want to help you avoid that. Also, there is a SCALED division so don’t worry if you are unsure about your ability level. All are welcome and highly encouraged to participate.

HOW IT WORKS

We typically do the Open every year, with a Friday Night Lights WOD. But this year will be different. We will follow along and do all the same workouts on the exact same timeline BUT we choose two captains to run teams in our gym. This years Captains will be chosen by us!

These captains are huge parts of our Ampersand community, they work hard, have great attitudes and are sure to help us keep it FUN! Because, that is our aim. Fun. No crazy cutthroat attitudes. No nasty trash talking (well maybe a little.. ;). Just throwing down on some good ol’ fashioned CrossFit style workouts with the rest of Ampersand while we all compete against each other in an internal, CrossFit Ampersand-only competition.

POINTS

Don’t worry, you won’t “drag a team down”. Everyone can contribute points. All you have to do is show up AND there will be surprise opportunities to gain points for your team that don’t require you to do any working out! Here’s the scoring system:

+1 Point – Attendance: every member of a team that completes an Open workout at CrossFit Ampersand AND records their score in SugarWOD each week earns one point. Maximum one point per athlete per workout. This goes for Rx, Scaled and Modified competitors!

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+1 Point – Top 3: every male AND female member who places among the Top 3 at CrossFit Ampersand for each workout (Rx & Scaled as written only - not modified) gets an extra point for their team.

Spirit of the Open: Earn points for participating in themes, volunteering to judge others, helping keep things organized, etc, etc, etc.

REGISTRATION

THE ONLY THING YOU NEED TO DO TO PARTICIPATE IN THE INTRAMURAL OPEN IS TO REGISTER FOR THE CROSSFIT GAMES OPEN! DON’T WORRY IF YOU ARE NEW OR UNSURE ABOUT YOUR ABILITY LEVEL. THERE IS A SCALED DIVISION!

Registration for the Open can be done at games.crossfit.com starting January 11th, 2019 and please make sure to choose CrossFit Ampersand as your Affiliate.

DRAFT

We will be doing a live video on February 2nd to have our Draft. All athletes who are registered for the CrossFit Games Open before that date will be automatically put into the Draft pool and will be randomly selected onto a team. We will release all the details of the Draft ASAP so you can find out what team you are on. After the Draft, the Captains have freedom to recruit the remainder of the gym and they’ll be asking YOU!

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Coaches will be split up and placed onto different Intramural teams to keep it fair and even. Captains choose athlete names in random order out of a hat. Team Captains will rotate draws, and then notify the athletes of their team that they have been drafted!

THATS WHERE YOU COME IN! If you are not signed up for The Open by the time of the Draft then you’ll be courted by one of our Team Captains to join their team – probably more than one. Pick the funnest team!

Our Open workouts will take place at every group class time on Friday, building to Friday Night Lights which will begin at 4:30 p.m. There will be a heat sign-up on a whiteboard which will be available first come first serve. Please show up as early as possible to sign up for a heat, help judge, take pictures and cheer everyone on! Bring friends or family to spectate and contribute to the cheering crowd!

FIVE WEEKS - FEB. 22-MARCH 22

Friday, February 22 @ 4:30 p.m.  – 19.1

Friday, March 1 @ 4:30 p.m. – 19.2

Friday, March 8 @ 4:30 p.m. – 19.3

Friday, March 15 @ 4:30 p.m. – 19.4

Friday, March 22 @ 4:30 p.m.  – 19.5

👇🏼Peep the sweet slideshow 👇🏼

Athletes will be allowed to make up workouts or re-test Saturdays at 10am, or by arranging an appointment with a Coach. If you plan to makeup on Saturday, please let us know ahead of time and find another member of the gym to judge for you ahead of time!

OUR FOCUS IS ON FUN. WE WANT PARTICIPATION BECAUSE IT WILL MAKE YOU FITTER, AND IT WILL GET YOU HIGH-FIVES AND YOU’LL BE HAPPY AND LOVE LIFE MORE AND GLOW AND STUFF.

New Year New You – One Small Step at a Time

2019 Is a FRESH CHAPTER!

The possibilities are endless for what you can achieve and what can happen with the start of a new year. As a coach, it’s hard for us to not jump in with all of the resolution talk going around. So often we hear people saying they want to eat healthier or get more exercise. Those are great goals, but without specifics for what they want to achieve, it will lead to disappointment and quitting by the middle or end of January. 

Only about 9% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions.  Those 9% of people drill in to their goals and celebrate the baby steps that got them there.

Instead of a New Years resolution, why not make a January resolution? Something smaller and more manageable that will give you the satisfaction of accomplishment. Maybe this will be the month when you check-in to the gym 3x each week instead of 1 or 2. Maybe this will be the month that you commit to the nutrition challenge and learn about healthy eating for 28 days that will help you learn your body and to support healthy eating choices for the rest of the year.  

For some of you, even committing to something a month long sounds daunting or impossible. What if you tried for one day? Or one week? Try increasing your water intake by substituting water or tea instead of soda or other sugary or fake sugary drinks like Diet Coke and Sugar free Redbull.  This is a great small first-step where you will see changes in your body in a short time. 

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Follow this formula when choosing your goal:

All goals should be SMART!

Goal: I will check in to the gym for the 5:30pm class 3 times each week for the month of January.

Specific -  I will check in to CFA 3x each week in January

Measurable – I should have 15 check-ins during the 5 weeks in January

Attainable – I can come Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the 5:30pm class

Realistic – I am already going to the gym 2x each week, so I’m only adding 1 more day each week. 

Time-sensitive – Month of January


 Here are five ways to keep any goal you set:

1.     Share it with those around you who will be supportive. Simply saying it aloud or posting it online gives you accountability.

2.     Leave yourself words of encouragement regarding this goal in places you will see it often. If your goal is around healthy food choices, try a post-it note on your fridge.  This step solves two problems, it encourages you through your day and it helps you stay focused on your goal.

3.     Only set one small goal around one behavior at a time. Don’t start eating healthy, spending more quality time with your family, sleeping nine hours each night, removing toxins from your home, and going back to school all at the same time. Instead bite off only what is manageable. You can always slowly add more goals as your behaviors transform!

4.     Don’t be hard on yourself if you mess up. Only a very small percentage of the human population can accomplish a goal the first time they try. For the rest of us it takes a couple slip-ups before we propel forward and achieve our goals.

5.     Ask for help. It is brave and admirable to make changes in your health routines. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The coaches at CrossFit Ampersand are here for you as well as people in your classes. You can also take coaching and accountability up another step by talking to our Health Coach Elizabeth, to really drill into your intrinsic motivations, character strengths and help you achieve even more than you could do alone.

Book a Goal Setting Session with one of OUR Coaches and let us help you set your SMART Goals!

Mindfulness: Why is it Important to Your Overall Health?

Mindfulness mind·ful·ness    /ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/    noun    the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.    "their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"    A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique

Mindfulness mind·ful·ness

/ˈmīn(d)f(ə)lnəs/

noun

the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

"their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"

A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique

What Is Mindfulness?

Taking into consideration the definition; how can mindfulness be applied to our daily lives; or even better, how can it change our daily thought process? As a coach I hear it all the time, “I can't do that.” or “it’s too hard.” Being mindful and in tune with our thoughts and our physical abilities will help us push through barriers and challenges. Instead, I urge people to ask themselves, “Do I trust my coach? And do I trust myself?” If the answer is yes, then we will proceed with the task that was asked.

Surrendering ourselves to the unknown in this way can be scary. Allowing ourselves to not question the ‘what if’, to not be stalled by fear and to fully open ourselves to the new possibilities that are offered will exponentially improve our outlook and allow us so many opportunities that might have otherwise been missed. By trusting our own body, by listening to what it is telling you will take you too many new places.

How Does Mindfulness Fit into Health and Fitness?

Being mindful asks us to look internally, to be aware of how my body is feeling. How is it reacting to something new? As coaches we ask our clients all the time “how does that feel?” We aren't looking for a generic answer. No, we want to really know how that felt. Was it challenging, but doable? Did it cause a twinge of pain in that old injury? Did performing that movement for the first time successfully, instantly bring you joy? We want to know the real answer to help our clients start becoming in tune with their own body.

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How Does it Affect the Long Term?

Working towards our goals mindfully isn’t going to make it happen over night, but it will help us get there quicker and more successfully. Being mindful, knowing when it's time to take a break and let your body heal from will allow your body to progress forward steadily and safely without pushing through an injury or on a day that a workout just isn't going to happen.

Yes, goals vary, many have the goal to lose weight, to be healthier long term, to run a marathon, to play with the grandkids, but what all these different goals have in common, is the conscious decision to be mindfully present with their bodies and needs and choose what is necessary to make the changes to meet these goals. When asked what was it that triggered the change, it was always a mental change. Mentally they wanted it. Mentally they needed it. They chose to be mindful with themselves, allow the change mentally and what is being asked of their bodies and of their psyche to ensure long term success.

If you are ready to set some goals of your own, book a goal setting session with a coach!

Desert Racing and CrossFit with Greg

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We like to call Greg the "Silent Assassin" because he has such a humble attitude when he walks in the door, but his competitive spirit takes over at 3, 2, 1, GO!

His work ethic and determination towards his goals have proven in his increased work capacity and his speed on the course when he is on his bike. It is exciting as coaches to hear that CrossFit is doing its job when you hear reports of improved times, or personal bests outside of the gym. 

Greg is another reminder that CrossFit is for everyone! So we asked him a few questions about his CrossFit journey. 

What are your passions?
My passion in life is Desert Racing. Ever since I started to ride that little word "racing" popped up and seemed to take over my mind and soul.

Why did you start, and how did you find CrossFit?
I found CrossFit online just surfing the web. I chose CrossFit because I needed to change my
routine and challenge my body. Which all of the coaches are happy to challenge what you are
capable of doing.

What was your first impression?
My first impression of the gym was clean and very open. Everyone really cared that you came
to classes and did your best on good and bad days.

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What are your goals?
One of my goals that ties into racing is I want to become a Expert Racer. Another goal I have is to lose weight and possibly have skin removal surgery. So far I have lost over 100lbs from before and after I started CrossFit.

What has CrossFit done for you?
CrossFit has showed me I can push myself harder and in multiple different ways. The recovery time from my achilles injury went so much smoother than I expected with the help of training at Ampersand. Also I really like the atmosphere of working out with a group of people.

What’s one accomplishment you’re proud of during your time at CrossFit Ampersand?
I am proud of myself for being able to do kipping pull ups, handstand pushups, and having the
ability to use my whole body to do more complex movements.

Would you recommend CrossFit Ampersand to others?
Heck yes, I've told so many people about the benefits from CrossFit and that they should come
join the team.

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What advice would you give someone who is interested in CrossFit?
My advice to others would be no matter how hard something may seem you only have to beat yourself not others. Giving a 100% with everything from the amount of weight or speed. Give your 100% and the coaches and everyone around you will do the same for you so you can excel and achieve your goals.


Want to learn more about what Ampersand can do for you and your goals? Book a No Sweat Intro and talk to a coach today!

Crushing your 40's with Becca!

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Becca is such a treat to have in the gym. We wanted to share her experience with you because she is one of those people that motivates and inspires those around her. The saying is true that, "A rising tide raises all boats." We are excited to share her story with you and hope you get inspired too! Enjoy!

What are your passions?

I am passionate about disease prevention through food and exercise. I went to culinary school many years ago and I still love to cook. I could talk about food all day. I hope to pass on my love of exercise and nutrition to my kids.

Why did you start and how did you find CrossFit?

I started hearing about CrossFit here and there years ago. I wanted to try it but I felt like it just wouldn’t work with my crazy schedule. I watched all of the Fittest on Earth movies and I wanted so badly to learn all of those crazy lifts and be super strong like the “Dottirs”. I went to support a friend at New Kids in the Box and that was it. I wasn’t going to put it off any longer. I immediately started my search for a box.

What was your first impression?

It was love at first workout. I’ve been a runner and weightlifter for over 20 years and this was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Burpees, wall balls, AND running? Together? It was awesome. I was never able to push myself that hard when I was working out by myself in my garage. I felt so calm and relaxed and exhausted after that first workout and the weight of my day just melted away. I also love having a coach right there to help with my form or to show me something new. They have been amazing.

What are your goals?

I want to be as strong as possible for as long as I live. I am a nurse so I see what neglecting your health and mobility can do to a person later in life. I’m not taking my health for granted. It’s a process and an investment.

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What has CrossFit done for you?

CrossFit has made working out fun again. I look forward to getting to the gym everyday. It is never a struggle. I get home from work, change into my gym wear, and head out the door. I can take out the stress of the day on the weights and just wear myself out.

What is one accomplishment you’re proud of during your time at CrossFit Ampersand?

Just one?? Well, I’m most proud of my consistency. I’ve been able to go 4-5 days each week for the past year which has led to increases in strength I never thought possible at 40 years of age.

 

Would you recommend CrossFit Ampersand to others?

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Absolutely, and I do all the time! Everyone, coaches and members, have been so welcoming, encouraging, and supportive to the max. I am an introvert who hates group fitness classes and I LOVE CrossFit Ampersand! For years I have longed for a fit fam and I have finally found one. They have pulled me out of my shell.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in CrossFit?

Just get started! You don’t have to already be in shape or even know what the heck you are doing. Just show up, stay positive, and be coachable. Everything can be adapted to your ability so do not be intimidated.

Anything else you would like to add?

CrossFit Ampersand is the cleanest gym I’ve ever seen. For reals.


We would love the opportunity to create your story and share your journey with Ampersand.

Schedule a Free NO Sweat Intro to talk to a coach today!

Conquering Adversity with Andrea

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So let me begin by saying what a joy it is to have met and grown close with Andrea and her family. Her story combined with her driven nature is nothing less than inspiring to me as a coach and to our community. I am really excited for everyone to get to know Andrea a little more and be inspired as well by seeing just how strong and powerful women are and can be. We have all heard of the saying 'cancer survivor', but from where I stand as a coach and a friend, Andrea is a conquerer... and cancer had no chance. So without further adieu, here is her story! Enjoy!

"CrossFit wasn’t something even on my radar. I grew up being active and always was up for taking a class or two at the gym. Then at the age of 20 I was diagnosed with stage 3 muscular cancer. Boom, all that was more norm, going to the gym every day, college, an active lifestyle was out the window for a while. Fast forward to almost a year ago. I was trying to find something to challenge me again. Get me active and get me out of the house. I work from home 10+ hours a day and needed not only to get out but to interact with people. Not really interested in much there was to offer in my area, a girl I knew through a friend has suggested I try CrossFit. Um, yea... NO. One, I have no idea what that really was, and two, what I do know of it I could NEVER do. That is not for me. I can’t do that because of my limitations from having cancer…. Blah blah blah, you know, all the excuses we like to tell ourselves to keep us from doing scary things. Well, one day, when I guess I was just crazy enough to try, I posted a question on our community blog and everyone was giving me the same answer: CrossFit Ampersand.

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A few clicks, some research, and reading a few clients stories I set up a meeting. I am not a weight lifting kind of gal. Throw me in a cardio class I am ready! But showing up for CrossFit I thought, what am I doing, can I even do this?! All the weights and medicine balls and chalk!? Why do we need chalk?! But the other thing driving me was, behind all the lifting and sweat and learning, was the challenge. I needed a challenge. I had become distracted from life with work and kids, and all the adult things that make us responsible. I needed something that was mine and was going to challenge me. That was what I set out for and that was what I got.

Some of the toughest times in the beginning and still today, are recognizing that I can’t always do what everyone else is doing. Not because I wasn’t or am not strong enough, yet, but because of something from my past. Cancer. That was a part of my life, my story, I tucked away, I conquered, and moved passed. But here I was, in the gym, trying to lift something my hand didn’t have the strength to hold. But then with the help of the amazing support, community and coaches at CrossFit Ampersand I saw that there is a way to get through every lift, every jump, every challenge. The coaches encouraged me to do what I could and taught me how to modify movements so that I could build strength and keep going. That is one thing I was most amazed about. The coaches never made me feel like I was inadequate or “broken”. They just said “ok, then do this instead” and that was that.

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One of my proudest moments to date was conquering box jumps. Yep! I can jump on a box and do it over an over again. When I first started CrossFit I would jump on stacks on weights. Then over time I just worked my way to feeling more confident and trusting my body and I did it! It’s not just the physical aspect of growth you find in CrossFit, it’s the mental. I have gained so much more trust in my body and what it is capable of. Confidence, yes that too, but knowing that months before I couldn’t do something and to work and see myself lifting more weight, improving in many different aspect and also having all the awesome coaches and other members at Crossfit Ampersand cheering you on. Helping you see you really can do more than you think you are capable of, you can’t help but try harder and be better.

At the end of the day I look forward to every workout. I want to see my friends, who have become more like family, because that’s how it is at CrossFit Ampersand, a family. I want to be with my tribe, pushing myself to see how far I can go. Is CrossFit tough, yes! I would be lying if I said it was easy. But pushing yourself and being with people who want to see you reach your goals and support you makes every sore muscle worth it. If you have ever questioned trying CrossFit I would say do it. We all have things that can create excuses not to try, but honestly, do it, please try. You may just find your not as broken as you once thought you were. You may become stronger, happier, more focused, less anxious, or more determined then you have been in a long time. What have you got to lose? I am so thankful one crazy day posting something on a community page lead me to a much healthier and better place. One sore workout at a time…GAME ON!"

"Some days I am more wolf than woman and I am still learning how to stop apologizing for my wild." -Nikita Gill

Ready to begin your journey? Book a No Sweat Intro and come see what we are all about! 

Renay's Athlete Story: Taking a chance

When I sat down with Renay for her 'No Sweat Intro' several months ago, I remember thinking, this one is driven! I asked her what made her choose us and she replied with, "I read the client stories on your website and want to have a story like that one day" Well, she definitely has an amazing story to share with us! Her drive and love for her community is so infectious and it is apparent that the confidence and the passion that she brings to the gym, she also applies to her everyday life. 

My favorite aspect about being a part of the Ampersand family is that I get to meet and grow closer with new people everyday. Sometimes, I think I spend more time learning from the people that I coach than they do learning from me. I am grateful to know Renay and am thankful for what I have learned about myself from her and others like her in the gym. 

So, without further adieu, here is my short-ish interview with Renay. Enjoy! - Coach Jeff

What are your passions?

My biggest passions are my job, fitness (specifically CrossFit) and spending time with son Nick, who is almost 16 and my dogs Kona, Beenz and Asker. I work at a juvenile detention center and am still happy with my job even after five years. I was in trouble as a teenager/young adult so ever since then it had always been my passion to work with at-risk youth. Because of my job fitness is very important to me as my job can be physical at times. My health is important as well as I want to live a long life so I can see my son grow and his accomplishments he achieves through life. One day, many years from now, I would like to and hope to have grandchildren. I enjoy many outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, shooting and even yard work.

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Why did you start, and how did you find CrossFit?

I was extremely hesitant to try CrossFit at first as it has always been hard for me to step out of my comfort zone to try new things. I had been going to a regular gym for almost a year before I joined CrossFit and off and on throughout my adult life. I got to a point where I was spending about two hours every day at the gym and felt like I had hit a plateau. A friend of mine who had been doing CrossFit for several years had mentioned several times that I should try CrossFit. One day I had decided it was time to finally try it so I had started to research different CrossFit boxes in the area. CrossFit Ampersand was not the closest box to me but as I was doing my research something about them really impressed me as well as another client's story and I decided to contact them for a "no sweat intro". Joining CrossFit Ampersand has been one of the best decisions I have ever made not only because of the awesome workouts but I have met some pretty outstanding people. 

What was your first impression?

My first impression of CrossFit was, how am I ever going to be able to do the things everyone else was doing. After I met with Jeff for the "no sweat intro" I felt a little better about my decision but was still super nervous. The one thing I really liked about CrossFit Ampersand was having to go through the on-ramp program. The one-on-one sessions where awesome as it taught me some proper form and I was able to get a taste of CrossFit without having to make a fool of myself in front of other people. From the very get go I had felt very welcomed by all the athletes and coaches I had crossed paths with. Needless to say, I can say my first impression of trying CrossFit and CrossFit Ampersand itself was and still is amazing!!

What are your goals?

My goals are to continue to build muscle, get toned and be a better me physically and mentally. In 2014 I had my L4-S1 vertebrae's fused after a car accident so it has also been my goal to strengthen my core to try and prevent any future injuries or surgeries to my back. My son is very proud to have a fit mom, so it is my goal to stay that way. 

What has CrossFit done for you?

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CrossFit has shown me how competitive I really am but more importantly it has shown me that I can do things I never thought I'd be able to do, like overhead squats, hand stand holds and rope climbs. It has given me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and made me realize I can achieve things that I once thought were impossible. It has helped me overcome fears such as jumping onto a box without gouging my shins and going into a handstand against a wall knowing the wall will always be there to catch me. CrossFit has shown me that every day I become a better me!! It has also shown me that it is possible for every muscle to be sore all the time even after seven months of CrossFit due to the varying workouts. Someone once told me, "Soreness is weakness leaving the body."

What’s one accomplishment you’re proud of during your time at CrossFit Ampersand?

One accomplishment I am extremely proud of since I joined CrossFit was participating and completing a CrossFit competition. This past July, about four months after I started CrossFit, I competed in The New Kids in the Box competition put on by Carson City CrossFit. That competition was my first competition I had ever been a part of and it was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. Throughout the day I had completed five workouts and they were no joke. My teammates and CrossFit family were there to cheer me on, show me support and push me even when I thought I couldn't do more. It was tough but I was extremely proud of myself for getting through it and I ended up placing fourth in my division. 

Would you recommend CrossFit Ampersand to others?

I would absolutely recommend CrossFit Ampersand to others for many reasons. The most important reason is the coaching. Jeff, Harmony, JC and Marshall have a wealth full of knowledge about CrossFit and proper technique. They do a great job at sharing their knowledge and teaching movements with patience. It is evident that the goals of the athletes are important to them. CrossFit Ampersand and the equipment is kept very clean which is important when you are a germaphobe and you have to lie on the floor to catch your breath after an intense workout. Another reason I would recommend CrossFit Ampersand is because of the athletes. As I mentioned before, everyone is so welcoming and makes you feel as though you are a part of the CrossFit family. CrossFit Ampersand is a family and everyone helps each other out in one way or another. I would recommend CrossFit Ampersand simply because it is the BEST! 

What advice would you give someone who is interested in CrossFit?

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The advice I would give to someone interested in CrossFit is give it time, it'll be worth it. There may be a time when you question why you do CrossFit because of the intensity of it but keep coming back. Make CrossFit your addiction! It takes time to build strength, stamina and see results but eventually it happens and it is an amazing feeling. Some workouts are tough but as a coach (JC) once told me, "just keep moving" and you'll eventually get through it. The end result, whether it's the feeling you have after an intense workout or eventually reaching your goals, is so worth going through some crazy workouts. Actually, I think all the workouts are crazy but they give you such satisfaction at the end of them. 

Anything else you would like add?

I would like to add that I am thankful I gave CrossFit a chance. It has truly been an amazing experience and is something I plan on doing for the rest of my life or for as long as I possibly can. The fee it costs to be a part of CrossFit has been so worth it because of the coaching and the push I get from the coaches and the other athletes. If I were to workout at home or on my own at a regular gym, I would never push myself as hard as I do at CrossFit Ampersand. I hope to one day be able to inspire many others as I have been inspired by so many. 


Want to be our next success story? Book a No Sweat Intro today!

Brian "Brain" Banbury: New Intern on the Block

We are excited to announce that Brian Banbury, Banbuddy, Brain... Is our newest intern at Ampersand! Brian demonstrates the type of coach that we look for at our gym. One who is coachable, humble, hungry and leads by example. His passion for progress and love for sharing in others successes is apparent in his presence in the gym. We look forward to his growth as a leader! Read more about Brian below, from the man himself! 

Greetings and salutations everyone!

I’d like to think that more or less most of you have met me: but! In the event you haven’t, I wanted to introduce myself as the new intern on the block.

Name: Brian “Brain” Banbury

About me: I was bounced around as a kid a bit, but it all started in Omaha, Nebraska. I have, over the years, found myself living in Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, South Carolina, California, Japan, and now Nevada. I am a prior Marine and currently work in the IT industry, with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of commuting time. I’ve been a pretty active kid my whole life, playing football and wrestling through high school and being in the military shortly after a failed stint in college.

So why CrossFit? That answer is simple – it’s all of you that give me purpose in walking through the gym doors every day. The community of CrossFit is an infectious and resilient … I don’t know, esoteric energy driven by collective positivity and a genuine interest in the well-being of your WOD-mates. I’ve been distributive-ly a part of the CrossFit community for just shy of two years now, and I keep finding myself navigating back towards the 3, 2, 1 go!

When it comes to fitness, my passion lies mostly with the Olympic lifts and seeing my back-squat numbers do things I thought they couldn’t. I live to break PRs and to push the boundaries of what I once thought was impossible. I also love bacon, cookies and dogs. Not necessarily in that order.

I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone at a more personal level, so I can help you all smash your goals and set new ones you’ve never even considered.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

~Abraham Lincoln

 

-Brain

Kiersten's Athlete Story: Passions and Progress

Kiersten has been with us for only about 10 months! But having her around has made it seem like it's been a lot longer. Her and her family have a way of connecting with people in a special way, and immediately make you feel like you have known them forever. Her journey in the gym has been so fun to watch and we are excited to share her story with you all. Enjoy!

What are your passions?

My biggest passion is my little girl and my family. I am forever grateful that I am the one that gets to stay home and raise her, teach her and show her all the good in life. On the flip side, she teaches me and helps me grow as a woman, mother and friend. Watching her grow over this last year has been my biggest blessing. 

Another passion of mine is my body - seeing what it has done (carry a baby for 9 months) and what it is capable of doing. I'm constantly trying to find ways to improve my physical and mental health and I find a lot of joy and reward in doing so. I'm also motivated by showing an example to those around me what hard work, dedication and discipline can produce in all areas of life. I want to live a long and full life with those that I love, and the best way to do that is to take care of myself.

Why did you start and how did I find CrossFit?

Oh, Mr. Dustin Funk. He is the reason for my addiction. Dusty, my brother-in-law, started talking to us about CrossFit in the last trimester of my pregnancy. And (I'm sure you can understand why) I just kinda blew it off. Two months after Stevie was born, he brought it up again and I decided to try it for a couple of different reasons.

1) The guy couldn't stop talking about CrossFit!

2) Travis, my husband, pretty much told me that we should just give it a shot so I was just along for the ride.

3) I needed an outlet and something with consistency and adult interaction. Being at home with a newborn all day was taking a toll on my physical AND mental health.

I thought that maybe CrossFit would teach me a few things, introduce me to some new people and reignite a fire that had been dormant for awhile.

What has CrossFit done for you?

I 100% underestimated the impact CrossFit would have on my life. I swear I could write a whole novel about it if you let me. I was very embarrassed with my physical health, I didn't even want to show up. But now after toughing it out physically and mentally, I have lost 40lbs and competed in my first competition. Both things I never thought I would do.

I'm in the best shape I have ever been in and I know that the possibilities are endless and it will only continue to improve. 

Also, I think I do a pretty good job showing my confidence outward, but internal confidence has always been a struggle for me. I have always been competitive but even more competitive with myself. Always searching for perfection and I would beat myself up if I thought I fell short. I have learned that I'm not perfect but more importantly I have learned to be OK with it.

CrossFit has taught me that as long as I have put in my best effort (in any area of life) that's what really matters. 

My relationships... I have made some bad a$$ friends! Seriously, the best people I have met have been through CrossFit. From all different walks of life, people that I probably wouldn't have interacted with in the past are some that I'm closest to now. More importantly though, my family relationships. I now have a common ground with my step sons and my brother-in-law. CrossFit has made my relationship stronger with them in 10 months than it could have over the course of years. I could write a whole chapter about my kids and what it has done for us outside of the gym.

I also have extended family reaching out to me about getting into CrossFit. Family that haven't ran a mile since high school because they see all the results from my work. That is the most rewarding thing.

CrossFit Ampersand has also given me the opportunity to intern and spread the wealth!! I think it's important to always give back to the community! I am fortunate enough that I found the coolest way to do so! Being able to help others in the gym has helped me fill that void. I was struggling trying to find a way to give back and just feel like I was making a difference in people's lives. Now, I receive emails, texts and even have conversations with people thanking me for my help. I love that I inspire and motivate people!! I will admit, you ran that mile on your own sister, but I'm so glad that I helped push you and inspire you.

What are your goals?

My goals are pretty simple. Like I said before, I'm constantly searching for ways to improve physically and mentally. My biggest goal right now is to stop saying things like "I can't " because deep down I know I can do anything I set my mind to. I want to continue to be that example to my daughter, husband, sons, and CrossFit community and give back even more.

If I have accomplished and seen results like these in 10 months, I can't even imagine what the next 10 will produce. 

I would really like to buy my big black Dodge back again someday too. But we will see how that one goes... :)

Turn your passions in to progress by booking a No Sweat Intro with us today!


Naomi's Athlete Story: Finding your inner strength!

This month we’re interviewing Naomi. She and her family are newer members with us and have been such a joy to have in the gym. Naomi has shown some amazing improvements, not only in her fitness, but with her mental fortitude. We asked the coaches and our interns who they thought we should interview for this month, and it was unanimous. Naomi has stood out tremendously and represents what we are all about at Ampersand. She truly has a warrior's heart and determination to break down barriers standing in her way to becoming who she wants to be as a strong woman.

Q: What brought you in to CrossFit Ampersand?

A: Well first, I had been wanting to come back to CrossFit after a 9 year absence because I did really enjoy it when I was doing it, I had let life really get in the way. Second, I have always struggled with self-confidence and anxiety but for this past year or so it had gotten really bad to the point where if I didn't have to be anywhere I was more comfortable to just stay home and sit around. My family kept telling me if I started to do some kind I physical activity it could really help me mentally, and they were right! I had just procrastinated for too long. 

Q: What was your first impression of CrossFit Ampersand?

A: Everyone was really nice and encouraging, it is a comfortable environment to workout in, and I didn't feel like I was being judged as to my ability. The workouts weren't just what was written on the board or nothing. The coaches really helped me to scale the workouts to my current abilities and reassured me that I would progress if I was consistent.

Q: Why did you or what made you stay at CF Ampersand?

A: Coach Marshall said one day that even if you show up and it wasn't your best day, you are doing 90% more that the people sitting at home on the couch. I try to remind myself of that on the days I feel like just quitting or I'm tired and don't feel like going. Also, seeing everyone else show up and do their best whether it was a good day or a bad day for them and then cheering everyone else on really helped me to just show up and do my best. And I started see results in the way my clothes fit, I was sleeping better, I was overall happier. 

Q: What's one accomplishment you're proud of during your time at CF Ampersand?

A: The hold complex workout we did recently. I feel like it was one of the first workouts where I didn't let overthinking it hold me back, I just blocked out the discomfort and the voice in my head telling me to just drop the bar. I was able to hold it for the whole ten minutes!! It was also one of the first workouts where I just had to drop to the ground afterwards and take a minute. It made me feel REALLY happy and like I had accomplished something big. I’m really proud of myself for that workout!

Q: What will you do next? 

A: Well I've had some trouble getting under my lifts and I would really like to work on that so I can do them more efficiently. And long term I really want to be able to do the rope climb and sign up for a fun run. 

Q: What advice would you give someone who is interested in starting CrossFit? 

A: I would tell them to ignore the voice in your head telling you you're not good enough and that you are going to fail, and ignore the sick feeling you get on your way to the gym because I guarantee you that when you leave after the workout, you will feel better than when you walked in. Also everyone is there to cheer you on, and help you push yourself to do the things you thought you wouldn't be able to, and you will see the results. It's not going to be easy or instantaneous but with consistency and help you'll be able to reach your goal at CrossFit Ampersand! 😊


Find your inner strength. CLICK BELOW TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP!

5 Tips to Clean Up Your Nutrition and Get Results

One of the biggest factors in a successful fitness or weight loss program is what you eat. Why? Because food is how you fuel your body. You can work your butt off in the gym, but you can't out exercise a bad diet. 

Here are 5 simple tips you clean up your nutrition to start seeing results:

1. Avoid overly processed, boxed, and packaged foods

Boxed, packaged, and processed foods contain many additives and not so good for you ingredients. These can wreck havoc on your gut, lead to inflammation, and can pack on the calories. You end up with a smaller quantity of food with a much higher calorie value while being low in nutrients. Start by cutting out soda, candy, and dinner in a box meals. 

2. Eat protein with every meal (such as eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, steak, pork, etc)

Protein is critical to your body's ability to maintain or grow muscle, and helps control your appetite. Eating protein helps your body focus on burning and losing fat instead of eating away at muscle. Find protein sources that you enjoy eating and learn new ways to prepare them!

3. Eat veggies with every meal (including breakfast!)

Veggies are a fantastic source of micronutrients (minerals, vitamins, etc.). For breakfast, try adding spinach, bell peppers, or mushroom to eggs to make a scramble or omelet. For snacks, try cut up carrots, celery, snap peas, and bell peppers. 

4. Stop eating fast food and limit eating at restaurants to once a week

When you prepare and cook your food, you're more aware of what you're eating and more likely to make healthier choices. Fast food is full of calories but low in nutrients. It can be addicting, and can cause you to overeat. 

5. Limit dessert to once a week

Dessert and treats aren't bad in and of themselves, but when you're trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or improve performance, aim to limit your sugar and treat intake. A good rule is to limit treats to one serving once a week. When cravings hit, try drinking water or tea, eating veggies or a handful of nuts, or a piece of fruit. 

Need more guidance or assistance with your nutrition? We offer a free nutrition consult and nutrition coaching.

Regaining confidence with Nikki

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When I came to CrossFit, I had actually wanted to try it for a few years, but I kept chickening out. When Jeff and Harmony said that they were going to open a CrossFit gym, I decided that this was a perfect opportunity to try it out and to support my friends in the process.

My first workout I remember being so challenging that I was seeing stars! I couldn't walk for a week! However, I came back. I wouldn't say the CrossFit got easier, but I got better, every time I come into the box. I improved, and I could feel the difference!

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My confidence has improved as well. I used to be timid, which hindered me both in the box, and in my job as a ER nurse. Once I gained more confidence, my job performance and my interpersonal skills improved. Friends and coworkers noticed. My boss started putting me on the fast track to be in charge, and started placing me on roles of a clinical expert.

I love feeling strong and I love being able to do handstand push-ups! The first time I did one, was probably my favorite moment of all. 

 

Now I am working on being able to do a freestanding handstand, then hopefully a handstand walk!!!! I love CrossFit so much I decided to further myself by getting my CrossFit Level 1 certification, and eventually would love to coach.

I feel better and I love the way I look!


Looking to regain your confidence? Click below to find out how we can get you on the right track!

Katie Dorsey

I first came to CrossFit 2 years ago because of a promotion they were running and I thought it would be nice to get out of the house. When I first walked in, I was super nervous. First, I hadn’t worked out in over two years and second because it seemed like everyone in there knew what they were doing and I had never touched weights in my life. 

Today, I still walk in nervous, but also excited! Nervous because I know the workout will be hard and excited because now I know I can make it through. My first (and probably favorite) accomplishment at CrossFit Ampersand would be the friends that I made. When I first started at Ampersand, I was a stay at home mom and I had recently moved to the area and I didn’t know anyone. I was miserable. But the support and encouragement I felt walking in to Ampersand for the first time was overwhelming. Another big accomplishment was that I lost 50 lbs in my first year. I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy. I was constantly tired and unmotivated to do anything and now I have more energy, feel better, and am able to keep up with my very active toddler!

Today, with support from the coaches and community at Ampersand, I am working on building better lifestyle habits. I'm currently doing the Whole Life Challenge with a group from the gym. We are halfway through and I am feeling great. 

I love that the coaches at Ampersand are always pushing us to be the best versions of ourselves and I cannot imagine life without this place! 

Allison Ashton

I started CrossFit in May, 2016. At the beginning of my journey I weighed over 220 pounds. I couldn't run 200 meters, I couldn't do push-ups, in fact I couldn't successfully do 95% of the workouts, and in all honesty I hated it. I hated the cardio, I hated that I had become so overweight, I hated that I HAD to be there, but most of all I hated knowing that the only results I would ever see had to come at the cost of sweat and tears. 

     Prior to starting CrossFit, I was losing mobility, not only because of my weight, but also due to my lack of living an active life style for so long. Family outings, hiking, walks to the park, anything requiring me to be active was always out the question, I had an excuse for everything... that was up until my weight, diet and crappy lifestyle had finally caught up to me. I was constantly feeling "sick", extremely fatigued, experiencing painful numbness in my hands and feet, fighting migraines daily, and was suffering from severe insomnia and depression. I had convinced myself that I was chronically ill and there was no way I could feel that horrible and not have a diagnosis to go along with it.

As anyone would do, I went to my doctor and discussed the problems I was having, he was clearly concerned. He requested I see some specialist and ordered a full blood panel.  Those appointments and blood tests revealed one thing... I was not dying, I was obese. My health was deteriorating because of my lifestyle. It was not because I was sick, or had carried and birthed five children, nor did I lack the time and finances for a gym membership. This was because I was lazy and unmotivated. Point blank. Right there every excuse I had become bullshit. This was my rock bottom. It was now or never.


That's why I joined CrossFit Ampersand. When signing up I was very intimidated, but I had no excuses left, I HAD to put in the work, I HAD to succeed. My first few weeks were nearly unbearable, I knew that I was strong, but I was slow and uncoordinated due to my size, and the intensity made me sick to my stomach, but I was trying! For the first time in years I was starting to come out of my shell. 

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     My love for CrossFit didn't come for another month or two. The game changer for me was finding the mental strength to push through the WOD's, finding different strategies to make my body move and withstand the intensity more efficiently. Things got 100 times easier from that point on, I began attending classes 5 days a week, I changed my diet and began shedding pounds and toning my body. The movements were becoming easier and I was lifting heavier weights. I rapidly became physically, mentally stronger than I had ever been in my life.

Today, nine months after starting CrossFit, I have lost over 50 pounds, 48 inches overall and a lot of mental baggage that came along with my weight gain.

 I no longer suffer from depression, I'm no longer pre-diabetic, and I certainly don't make excuses for myself anymore.

Get your health back on track with a free no sweat intro!