crossfit minden

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?

Julia's Success Story

At Ampersand we are about changing lives. Julia is committed to herself and has a new outlook on life! We meet everyone where they are and assist them in smashing their goals, just like Julia!

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!

Say Hello to Isaiah!

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Hello! My name is Isaiah. I have grown up in Gardnerville and have loved it! I am a Nevada boy and it is hard for me to think of calling anywhere else home. I have a big family and many friends some of which are as close as family.

I have been doing Crossfit since May of 2018 and have loved it. I have worked out for many years, but it wasn’t until last year (2018) that I decided to try Crossfit. I have been having fun with it ever since!

I got my Crossfit Level 1 within a few months of starting Crossfit, because I knew that I wanted to coach someday.

It is refreshing to watch people at the gym crush their goals and push themselves to be better at life. I look forward to seeing more of that as Crossfit Ampersand grows and flourishes.

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!

But.

But.

But but but…

Doesn’t the word ‘but’ just bring up a level of anxiety in you even without even knowing what it’s referring to? Such a tiny insignificant word can keep us from becoming who we deserve to be.

Life Transitions can cause us to stop forward progress, we refrain from doing anything new or even worse send us further down the black hole. It can make us not do what needs to be done to better ourselves because of the anxiety and inner turmoil that is created by the word but.

Click here for some motivation from real people just like you! They can do it so can you!

Click here for some motivation from real people just like you! They can do it so can you!

But I’m not in shape enough to start working out. But I can’t figure out my nutrition.

But I’ve never been successful before.

But I work. But I have kids. But we are moving. But I am injured. But I just got pregnant.  But I just had a baby.

But but but...  

As fitness professional we have encountered at least one of those buts, if not all. We have suffered through those buts, it has been scary, it was hard and there were lots of tears. Eventually we conquered those buts and have moved forward. We know that life is hard, that it has seasons, it gets in the way. If you want to live your life in spite of those buts we will help you navigate your buts.

Let’s make those buts mean something new, maybe with a healthy new butt to carry you through the year!


Let 2019 be the year of new but(t)s by signing up for our Nutrition Challenge!



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!

Prioritizing Self with Tanya

Hey everyone! We got the chance to ask Tanya some questions about her experience with CrossFit. We met her when Harmony and I went to the emergent care and she was our nurse. After our visit a few weeks later, Tanya walked in the door workout gear in hand ready to rock. She came from a history of CrossFit before she moved here and has been a part of the Ampersand family ever since!

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Before finding us, what was your struggle?

My biggest struggle was putting away the excuses and getting up off the couch even when I was too tired or sore to move.  I was a shift worker for many years like many health care professionals and I found it hard to balance and find motivation when all I wanted to do was sleep.

What were your biggest frustrations?

Feeling like I spent all my time and energy taking care of everyone (my family and patients) and had no time and energy to take care of myself. I felt like a hypocrite and as a result I kept having to buy bigger and bigger clothes which is always disheartening.

How did your struggle and frustrations affect your life?

I felt that I was not leading by example. I was educating my family and patients about the importance of exercise and healthy eating but I was failing to live the life I was promoting.  I worried constantly about our family history of diabetes, obesity and heart disease affecting not only me but my children.

What did you feel like before you made your transformation?

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I had low self esteem when looking in the mirror, I cried more times than not in a dressing room trying to find clothes that fit, I refused to wear a swimsuit in public, and I just felt like a failure.

How did our program help you?

CrossFit Ampersand is so open and welcoming that I didn’t feel awkward or that everyone was staring at me. All the members are very supportive and encouraging. I also had the benefit of starting the program with my daughter and through our support of each other and the support from the whole crew at Ampersand, I started to look better and feel better with every class.

How is life different for you now?

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Life is still a struggle everyday, but I have the positivity of my health and wellness to keep me going. I don’t feel like a hypocrite any more when I talk to my patients about the longstanding benefits of exercise and clean eating. I feel stronger than I have in years, and I’m able to complete any workout that I attempt despite my many chronic health conditions like asthma or the multiple surgeries on my hands and hip. I recommend CrossFit Ampersand to anyone who will listen regardless of their age, size, health conditions or athletic abilities because the Ampersand crew is a dedicated, knowledgeable and caring team that can help anyone achieve their wellness goals!


Let us hear your goals and show you how we can help you reach them! 

Getting Motivated with Misti!

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Misti is another example of when you stick to your goals and stay consistent, great things happen. She is very humble and coachable and is joy to have in the gym. We asked her to share her story and we hope you are as encouraged as we were! Enjoy!

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Before finding CrossFit Ampersand I had been without a gym for about a year. I had left my previous gym of 7 years, where I spent most of my time running races and doing sprint triathlons. I had totally burnt myself out and decided that I needed a break. I would work out at home on my own one or two days a week and take my dog out for a run here and there. I told myself that this was sufficient and that I didn’t need a gym, but I soon became lazy, frustrated and depressed. I love working out and doing things that make me feel healthy and strong, but I felt like I was never going to find anything else that motivated me and got me excited about my health and fitness again.

This totally affected my life because I stopped being motivated about how I was eating. I wasn’t doing anything much to challenge my body and it was depressing. For me, the biggest benefits of working out and eating good, besides the obvious of being strong and healthy, is the positive mental state that it keeps me in. I feel sane and happy when I’m pushing and challenging myself.

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Then I found Crossfit Ampersand and they changed everything! I was familiar with some of the CrossFit workouts but I had never been to a gym like this. I was so impressed with the way that you make proper form and function the most important part of the workouts. I’ve learned that actually knowing how to do the movements properly and the importance of training your body the right way makes you so much stronger!  I was so impressed with how everyone cares so much about each other and cares about motivating you and seeing you improve and grow. I have been at this gym for almost a year now and I love it! I love the coaches and the people here so much. I know that this will be my home for a really long time.

Life is different now because I have something to look forward to and get excited about again. I’ve found a new challenge that I love even more than the things I had been doing before. I feel so much stronger and feel like I’m gaining strength in areas I never thought I could. I’m doing things that I never thought I would be able to and I am excited to see more changes in my strength and ability!


Let us tell your story! Talk to a coach and see how we can help you reach your goals!

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! 

Meet Elizabeth, our Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach!

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Welcoming Elizabeth to the Team!

Hey everyone! We are excited to announce and welcome Elizabeth Grimm to the Ampersand team! Elizabeth is a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach from Reno, Nevada. Her interest in health and wellness coaching grew after overcoming her own health issues and specializes in focusing on the whole person in their journey to over all wellness! She is passionate about working with clients on practical ways they can make lifestyle changes to reclaim their health, which allows us at Ampersand to see the whole picture of your health and fitness! Elizabeth shares not only our passion of fitness, but even more our passion in creating a great community by serving great people!

 We are pleased to host a Facebook live interview/Q&A with her on 05/24/18 at 7:00pm. We encourage you to read her story and get to know her a little first, and make sure to tune in!

Elizabeth's Story

From the age of 14, I started having bizarre neurological symptoms. I went from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was wrong with me, but it took me 8 years to get an answer.

I was finally told I have Lyme disease.

I went on to find a Lyme literate medical doctor who successfully treated me for about 4.5 years.

After my treatment with him, I was told to "be free and fly" but I still had major issues with my immune system. I had worked so hard to complete my treatment but I was missing something.

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I had spent over four years confined to my house doing my Lyme treatment so constantly catching every cold or stomach bug was not okay with me. I sought out a new doctor to help me with my immune system. I found a clinic in Reno, Nevada that specialized in Functional Medicine and Chiropractic Neurology. I was hooked! I couldn’t believe the transformation I experienced and those around me were experiencing!

I wish I would have found a Functional Medicine doctor before beginning my Lyme treatment. I believe I would have saved so much time and money if I had worked on making my body strong first by focusing on the root components of health like diet, stress, sleep, elimination, movement, etc. Treating my body with the bug killers would have been much easier if I had been in a stronger state to begin with.

After following the protocol from my Functional Medicine doctor, I was no longer at the mercy of my body...I was in control! As long as I ate well, slept enough and kept my stress down I was nearly unstoppable. I now I help others figure out this balance so they can achieve optimum health too!

What is Functional Medicine?

With functional medicine, we seek to know the reasons behind the condition you are experiencing. We look at your bodies fundamentals like your sleep, stress, relationships, movement and food choices. When we make changes to our root issues many times other conditions in the body improve. As a coach, I cannot diagnose or treat you but I can partner with you as you make changes to your body to improve the roots of your health and provide guidance along the way! 

My Coaching Style

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I believe you are wonderful. As your coach I want you to know I believe in you and see the good in you. I look at you as a whole person, not a diagnosis or problem. I know you try very hard and want to make good choices for your health. Sometimes it takes someone to be with you through the process of making a change to help hold you accountable and empower you to achieve things you never thought were possible.

Let me be a mountain guide for you and we will work on whatever the mountain is in your life (decreasing stress, eating better, becoming more active, following your doctor's recommendations, sleeping better, adjusting to a cleaner lifestyle, etc.).

I work with people who are ready to make a change or want to continue on their journey to sustainable health. I love involving your doctor to help you achieve optimal wellness for you given your unique circumstances and diagnosis.

Looking forward to meeting you all! 

- Elizabeth


Read more about Elizabeth at her website www.ElizabethGrimm.com, and don't miss us going live May 24th at 7pm, so you can ask questions and get to know her! 


Not a member? Learn more about us by booking a No Sweat Intro!

Welcoming Bree to the team!

We are excited to announce that Bree is joining the Ampersand team soon! If you haven't had a chance to meet her in class, she has taken the time to tell us a little about herself today! She brings experience and passion to helping people reach their potential and will be a great addition to the coaching team. For a brief time she will be interning with the coaches and getting the lay of the land! So, feel free to reach out to her and welcome her to the fam!

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Hello all, my name is Bree! I am getting ready to intern and coach with you all so I just wanted to introduce myself for those who have not yet met me! I just recently moved back to Nevada with my fiance, Ian and our baby girl, Elowyn, from Saint Louis Missouri. I grew up in Minden so I am very excited to be back in the area, especially with the new edition to our family.  Saint Louis was a fun adventure where Ian and I were able to explore a part of the country we might not have otherwise seen. Ian was a professional motocross rider so we spent a lot of time going to races all over the country.

Once race season settled down I began looking for a job and started trying to meet people.  Making friends when you’re older is a bit harder than I expected. Luckily one of my best friends who is presently living in Oklahoma came to visit us in Saint Louis and forced me to go to a CrossFit gym with her.  I love being outdoors, hiking, camping, cycling and I grew up playing competitive soccer so I always thought I was in pretty good shape until I took a CrossFit class! My friend kept checking in with me until she convinced me to get a membership.  Finally I gave in and got one. I was pleasantly surprised by the close knit community that CrossFit provided and I quickly settled in at the box, and made some wonderful friends who I am still in constant contact with!

I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology and always saw myself working as a social worker or going back to school to become a registered nurse.  When I moved to Saint Louis I was unable to get a job which was very discouraging; I couldn’t see myself doing anything but working in the mental health field. The more time I spent at CrossFit the more I realized that the coaches were literally changing the members life’s, much like what I wanted to do with my career. I knew that I could fulfill my life’s calling by helping people reach their fitness goals just as much as I could sitting in an office counseling them.  Sometimes the only medicine you need is a good workout!

The box I was attending coincidentally was looking to hire a new coach and was hosting a Level 1 certification course the following month.  I took the plunge and got my certification and started working with them. Having a job where you are helping change people's lives, is the most amazing feeling. God works in mysterious ways, moving Ian and I to Saint Louis and not allowing me to find a job right away was the greatest blessing.  

Once I got my level 1 certification I wanted to train as personal trainer and coach CrossFit so I could be as well rounded as possible and learn the stark differences of the two.  While I loved working with my clients at Club fitness, I did not enjoy working in a large global style gym. I started working exclusively at CrossFit, coaching classes and I quickly began building a personal training client base at the box.  Working with my clients and the members, watching them meet their goals and become not only more fit but more confident in themselves was so rewarding. One of the proudest moments of my coaching career thus far, was when one of my diabetic clients came back to me after a checkup telling me not only had he lost 40 pounds but his A1C score had dropped considerably and his doctor was changing his diabetic medication.  I was so proud of him and in that moment I knew for sure I was doing what I was called to do!

I got pregnant in April of last year, being a coach and an athlete, and pregnant was very interesting and fun.  I had to learn how to modify workouts for myself which required a lot of research which stemmed a passion in pre and postnatal fitness. A goal for my future is to become certified in a program specifically for pregnant and postpartum athletes and create my own program to bring to our community here in Minden. Even as a CrossFit coach I was sometimes intimidated by working out. I hear from a lot of women that they would like to continue working out during and after their pregnancies but just don’t know what to do. I would like to help guide these women and teach them correct form and have a safe space for them to be comfortable working out in!

I look forward to meeting all the athletes of CF& and becoming part of the team!

-Bree

The Intramural Open!

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 change things up a bit and 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 three 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

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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 each week earns one point. Maximum one point per athlete per workout. This goes for Rx AND Scaled competitors!

+1 Point – Top 3: every male AND female member who places among the Top 3 at CrossFit Ampersand for each workout (Rx only) gets an extra point for their team.

+5 Points – Spirit of the Open: Each week we will pick one athlete who displays amazing SPIRIT during that week’s workouts. You’ll find this person cheering others on, volunteering to judge others, helping people get prepared, doing something amazing they never thought possible, gaining a new skill, etc etc.

+ 5 points – Hardest Worker: Each week, we will pick one athlete who we believe worked the hardest in that week’s workout. That athlete will earn their team 5 extra points. The person DOES NOT have to complete the workout RX to win.

REGISTRATION

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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, 2018 and please make sure to choose CrossFit Ampersand as your Affiliate.

DRAFT

We will be taking the Captains out to lunch the last weekend in January 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!

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!

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Our Open workouts will take place at every group class time on Friday, building to Friday Night Lights which will begin at 5:30p.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 26

Friday, February 23 @ 5:30 p.m.  – 18.1

Friday, March 2 @ 5:30 p.m. – 18.2

Friday, March 9 @ 5:30 p.m. – 18.3

Friday, March 16 @ 5:30 p.m. – 18.4

Friday, March 23 @ 5:30 p.m.  – 18.5

TBD – Closing Ceremony and Presentation of Championship Belt and FOOD party!

Athletes will be allowed to make up workouts or re-test Saturdays, or other arranged class times with a Coach. Also, please 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.

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. 


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