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!
Hi I’m Elisha! But most people call me Eli. I was born in Lake Tahoe, but I’ve lived in Nevada my whole life. During my High School career, I played Football for 2 years and I wrestled for part of my Senior year. I took 2 years of a Weight Training class that implemented the CrossFit methodology.
I am currently studying Kinesiology at the University of Nevada, Reno to become a physical therapist or athletic trainer. I always like working out with other people and I am always ready to make a new friend! I’m a born again man who loves Jesus and I’m always seeking truth and knowledge through the Bible. My favorite hobby is photoshop and I like to draw cartoons from time to time.
CrossFit is my passion. I started CrossFit sometime during the summer of 2017. I used to be a bodybuilder who loved lifting weights, but I was lacking in so many other areas of my fitness. Then, one day, my weight training teacher showed our class a video called, “The Test of Fitness” (I highly recommend watching it). After watching the video, I was immediately hooked on CrossFit. I completed my CrossFit Level 1 Course on January 27, 2019.
I wanted to get into coaching because I love helping other people. I’ve found a new interest in helping athletes to improve their fitness and their lives for the future. I am constantly learning new things and always ready to help!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
+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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?
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?
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!
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!
How many of us are constantly bombarded with dings, rings, and notifications? How many of us, before we go to the bathroom, HAVE to find our phone? How many of us have looked at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at least 5 times already today? I am guilty some of the above…
In today’s world of constant contact and immediate information through our phones, we have lost something. I find that social media doesn’t only distract us from reality, but it warps our perceptions of it and misrepresents it.
So why am I bringing this up?
When we spend so much time on our phones, we start to shape our expectation of reality based on what people project online. Just scroll through your list and look at the people you follow and ask yourself, why do you follow them? I am willing to bet that they constantly are projecting the BEST versions of themselves. Think of the last time someone posted a picture on Instagram that wasn’t in the best light or in the best humble brag they could muster. The humble brag is my biggest pet peeve… You know, the one person that is like, “Ugh, my purple Lamborghini gets terrible gas mileage.” Tell you a negative to still show you, HEY I have a purple Lamborghini. Or what about when someone posts a selfie that says... “Making the best of what I got…” and they receive multiple responses saying how strong, dedicated, and beautiful they are. They only posted that selfie to have others tell them they are worthwhile. Social media has become an outlet for self-gratification, as well as a false image of what life really is. But real life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It has challenges and hard days mixed in with the good and amazing moments.
Did you know that according to Pew Research Center:
- 84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device. (source)
- 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. (source)
- Studies indicate some mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes. (source)
- 88% of U.S. consumers use mobile devices as a second screen even while watching television. (source)
- Almost half of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls. (source)
- Traditional TV viewing eats up over six days (144 hours, 54 minutes’) worth of time per month. (source)
- Some researchers have begun labeling “cell phone checking” as the new yawn because of its contagious nature. (source)
So how can powering down help us and why should we be more PRESENT?
These points borrowed from: “http://www.becomingminimalist.com/unplug-please/”
1. Powering-down helps remove unhealthy feelings of jealousy, envy, and loneliness. Researchers recently discovered that one in three people felt worse after visiting Facebook and more dissatisfied with their lives. Certainly, not every interaction with Facebook is a negative one. But typically, our own experience validates their research. From family happiness to body image to vacation destinations to the silly number of birthday greetings on a Facebook wall, the opportunity for envy presents itself often on social media. Powering-down for a period of time provides opportunity to reset and refocus appreciation and gratitude for the lives we have been given.
2. Powering-down combats the fear of missing out. Scientifically speaking, the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) has been recognized as a recently emerging psychological disorder brought on by the advance of technology. The premise is simple. Our social media streams are ever-filled with everything happening all around us. Nowadays, we even see the plates of food our friends are enjoying. And within this constant stream of notification, our fear of being left out continues to grow. Turning off social media and finding contentment in our present space is a welcome skill.
3. Solitude is harder to find in an always-connected world. Solitude grounds us to the world around us. It provides the stillness and quiet required to evaluate our lives and reflect on the message in our hearts. In a world where outside noise is coming quicker and louder than ever, the need for solitude becomes more apparent… and easier to overlook. True solitude and meditation will always require the intentional action of shutting off the noise and the screens.
4. Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you. Our world may be changing. But the true nature of life is not. Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you. These experiences will never repeat themselves. These conversations are unfiltered and authentic. And the love is real. But if we are too busy staring down at our screen, we’re gonna miss all of it.
5. Powering-down promotes creation over consumption. Essentially, most of our time is spent in one of two categories: consuming or creating. Certainly, technology can contribute to creating. For example, this article was written (created) on a computer. But most of the time we spend in front of technology is spent consuming (playing video games, browsing the Internet, watching movies, listening to music). But our world doesn’t need more consuming. It needs more creating. It needs your passion, your solution, and your unique contribution. Power-down. And begin contributing to a better world because of it.
6. Addiction can only be understood when the object is taken away. Through a recent technological fast, I learned something about myself. I learned I am far more addicted to technology than I would have guessed. But that is the nature of addiction, isn’t it? We can never fully realize our level of addiction until the item is taken away. And the only way to truly discover technology’s controlling influence on your life is to turn it off, walk away, and sense how strong the pull is to turn it back on.
7. Life is still about flesh, blood, and eye contact. There are valuable resources online to help us grow and evolve. I have been enriched by the connections I have made and the friends I have met. But no matter how much I interact with others through the miracle of technology, there is something entirely unique and fantastic about meeting face-to-face. The experience of looking another person in the eye without the filter of a screen changes everything. Each time, I am reminded that life’s most fulfilling relationships are the ones in the world right in front of me. And spending too much time looking away from them does a great disadvantage to my soul and theirs.
So here is my challenge to you all, Ampersand members and non-Ampersand members… Power Down! I was listening to a podcast recently where Ben Bergeron, coach of the fittest man and woman on earth said, that to become better people we deserve to know our focal point, or our ‘true north.’ Sit down and think of what your personal mission in life is and what your personal why is. He says that only then do we have real perspective on who we are as people and only then can we see what true motivation looks like. The best way to accomplish this is by powering down all the digital external influences and distractions in our life so that we can truly connect with ourselves.
Here are some ways to power down:
- Spend time in silence, without your phone.
- Turn off the radio on the ride to work.
- Take a break from social media for 30 days.
- Limit your phone time to an hour a day.
- Take a friend to coffee and talk face to face, call instead of text
- Try the app called BreakFree that tracks your usage on your phone to see how much time you really are spending delving into other people’s lives and notifies you when you’ve been on too long.
Delve into your own life! You are worth it! Love you all!
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!
Coach Harmony: Hey Ashley! We are so proud of you getting your first pull-up and conquering box jumps during the CrossFit Open 2017 and wanted to ask you a few questions about your athlete story!
Ashley: Awe!! Those were SO huge for me!!
H: So my first question is, what originally brought you in to CrossFit Ampersand?
A: To be honest, I wanted to get back into CrossFit and get back into shape after a lot of ups, downs, and inconsistencies in the gym. My last coach pretty much checked out before he closed and most of the members went to the another CrossFit, but I've known Jeff since elementary school so I leaned towards Ampersand.
I had talked to him a few times before I got myself in gear but just wasn't ready yet. Then, I saw a video CrossFit Ampersand posted on social media that really pushed me. It showed the strength and support between everybody-members with much different physical abilities motivating and encouraging each other.
H: What was your first impression of CrossFit Ampersand?
A: Everything looked clean and in its place-it wasn't hard to get the hang of everything right away. I only knew one or two people there, but literally everyone I met was welcoming. I never felt 'out of place.' You and Jeff have the passion for this, you encourage proper form and growth. There have been times when I didn't think I could add 10 lbs to my lift and you said 'yep you're strong you've got this' and sure enough I did! You've shown me what my body is really capable of.
Another thing that I love about Ampersand is the electronic systems. In the past we kept notes and workouts in a notebook. At Ampersand we have even more tools to accomplish our goals, continue to improve and motivate each other!
H: Aww! Okay next question: After your first few experiences, why did you choose to stay at CrossFit Ampersand?
A: EVERYTHING! I can't even describe how incredible I felt after my first day!! I knew I would continue with CFA from my first day forward. I love the WOD's. They're challenging, but I feel like a new person when I'm finished. The adrenaline I guess? It's addicting - I need it - mentally and physically! I find myself mad if I miss a good WOD, haha! Although I have a long way to go, I am down 30lbs. I've seen how far I have come in the last few months with new accomplishments, things that I never thought I would be able to do-or never would have pushed myself to do, like weighted lunges in the open and conquering box jumps after 17.1! CFA has a great moral. Again, everyone is so supportive, both coaches and members. There's no judgment...I never felt out of place-which is huge with such a variety of members.
H: So much love!!! Okay final question! What will you do next? Or what is your next goal?
A: I feel like I have so many! I need to work on my eating habits and I hope to drop another 30 lbs. I need to progress in pull ups. Be able to string together kipping and to do strict too.
I want to conquer toes to bar next, give handstand push-ups a shot since I've never actually tried those. And I'm climbing that rope next time I get the chance, haha, hopefully!!
Want to see what you can accomplish? CLICK BELOW TO FIND OUT HOW WE CAN help you!
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!
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!
Happy International Women's Day!!
Today we asked our members why women should embrace strength or why they like being strong. Here's what they said:
Consistency is King
What is your WHY?
We live in a society that is infatuated with the quick fix. There are so many fads out there it is hard to even try to keep up with them. Diets, pills, wraps, shake weights... Where do we begin? The worst part is that we are all drawn to that because we have lost one important thing in our culture, and it quite possibly could be "work ethic, and drive."
How many times have you said to yourself, "This is it! I am in 100% and this is what I needed to get me moving!" Then later find yourself not following through and then blaming the plan. "Oh it wasn't for me.." I have news for you, it wasn't the plan, it was your lack of follow through. Follow through is one of the most valuable traits/skills to have if you wan't to be successful in anything you do. A mentor of mine once told me that "how you do one thing, is how you do everything." That means that if you come into the gym and shave reps, not warm up, take your time, get in your head, rest, quit, complain... etc etc etc... Then you will see yourself fall into these very patterns when you run into anything in life that pushes you back or challenges you. How you perform in difficult situations is how you will preform in any situation that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. So what does this have to do with consistency? Everything.
Most people aren't genetically gifted in a way that allows you to gain muscle over night, or lose weight and get that bikini body in a month. So that means that the people who do have major transformations have one thing in common, and that is consistency and follow through. They made a plan, stuck to it and continued no matter what. Most people stop when they hit that point where they do see any results, or when things get hard. But anything worth doing is worth doing right, and most of the time those journeys follow the road less traveled. If it was easy then everyone would be perfect, and skinny, and ripped, and rich etc... but we were designed to achieve and work, and work hard at that.
Picking one thing and sticking to it is the key to success.
So what are your goals? Write them down and put them in a place where you will see them every day! This doesn't only apply to health and fitness, but also to your every day lives. If you want that big promotion, or if you want to get that hot date, or anything that you are trying to succeed in!
What is your WHY?
Not only do you have to FOCUS, but there has to be a greater motivation as to WHY you are striving for these goals. No I don't mean, "I want to lose weight." or "I want to be healthier." Your "why" needs to come from a deeper understanding of yourself. Something that you can look inwards to and inspire the drive it takes to get it done.
You want to lose weight? Why... "Because I want to live long enough to see my kids go to college?"
You want that big promotion? Why... "So that I can give a future to my family that I didn't have!"
Contrary to current popular belief, the world does not operate on good intentions or ideas. It operates on merit and hard work. You have to be driven and motivated to bust through your milestones and make these things happen for yourself. NO ONE is going to do it for you! NO ONE is going to make you successful in anything that you do other than your self. So if you can't motivate yourself, and draw from an inward desire to succeed, it will NOT happen.
Success look different to everyone. Everyone has a different view of what success would look like in their lives. But, the road to getting there is the same... Follow through, and determination.
"If you want to succeed as bad as you want to BREATH, then you will be successful!"
Do not skip passed this video!
Find your why!
'High Fructose Corn Syrup' is getting a makeover!
So what happens when the corporations who mass produce food get clever?
Get this, consumers are actually getting smarter with their food choices and in some ways are filtering what they are purchasing based on what they can find in on the box. There are tons of trends that seem to come up all the time. "All natural"; "Minimally Processed"; "No added preservatives"; and in this case, "All natural." Now, we have to learn the new name of the all to easy to produce, "High Fructose Corn Syrup."
Instead of food companies doing what the consumer wants, they will cut corners and protect their bottom line first, by tricking the consumer into 'thinking' they are getting what they want. Of course there are many companies out there that have integrity in their products but in the mainstream products, we seem to need to shy away more and more altogether.
So when they get creative, we need to get wiser!
Companies are now masking the ingredients we are always trying to avoid. There was a time when there was hardly any sugar in anything. But now, it's nearly impossible to purchase products that are lacking. I'm not talking about sugar in natural things like fruits and veggies, no no, the all to popular, high fructose corn syrup.
"The product is General Mills’ Vanilla Chex, an updated version of the Chex cereal sold in most conventional grocery and discount stores for many years. The front of the box clearly states that the product contains “no high fructose corn syrup” (HFCS), but turn it over to read the ingredient list and there it is – the new isolated fructose."
So whats the big deal?
'The Corn Refiners Association is now labeling high fructose corn syrup as fructose. Packing on products such as General Mills Vanilla Chex cereal now states the product contains no high fructose corn syrup, while the ingredients list contains the simple word, "fructose." This fructose is actually a manufactured sugar called HFCS-90, and is made up of 90% pure fructose. High fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, contains 42% or 55 percent fructose. Health issues relating to free fructose include diabetes, leaky gut syndrome, and liver failure.'
Well, according to the CRA:
“A third product, HFCS-90, is sometimes used in natural and ‘light’ foods, where very little is needed to provide sweetness. Syrups with 90% fructose will not state high fructose corn syrup on the label [anymore], they will state ‘fructose’ or ‘fructose syrup’.”
“Simply eliminating the high fructose corn syrup designation for the laboratory sweetener that’s nine-tenths fructose and calling it what it really is: fructose. And that’s how a processed-food product like Vanilla Chex that contains “fructose”, a substance that, according to the corn refiners, used to be called HFCS-90, can now declare itself to be high fructose corn syrup-free.”
So, while looking for HFCS on the back of your foods ingredients, you will now see it as just "fructose." Don't be fooled by their sorry attempts to get you comfortable. We have very little regulations in this country on our food companies to begin with. It's up to you to know and make good choices.
So what do we do?
I would suggest that you buy organic as much as possible and stay away from foods that ecould possibly have added artificial sugar in them. Buy local at farmers markets and actually prepare your own food. Stay away from anything that is in a box that you know is NOT good to put in your body. Especially while you are training. Sure if you want to occasionally have a doughnut or some cookies, GO FOR IT! But if you are taking in those kinds of processed foods on a regular basis, you will not only see your fitness deteriorate in the gym, but your health as well outside of the gym... Not to mention not losing the weight or putting on muscle. Also, you have heard me say before, if it is not good enough to put in your body, its not good enough to put in your families bodies either!
"The CrossFit Way"
We believe that nutrition is the cornerstone of health and fitness, and that achieving your fullathletic potential is impossible without tuning up your diet.
The CrossFit rule of thumb is: eat real food. Base your diet on vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. If it has ingredients you don’t recognize, don’t eat it. If you can’t imagine its path from a farm to your plate, don’t eat it. If that path must have included some sort of factory, don’t eat it. Pretty simple, yeah?
Some say well it's too expensive... Look I get it. It's not cheap, so do your best! Changing your lifestyle won't happen over night, but one step at a time. But you have to be taking those steps to get anywhere.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you are struggling in this area and would like us to assist you!
What better way to kick off our new website, than with our promo video. We hope you enjoy, and please share with your friends!