Community. Compassion. Care.
Every year I donate blood on or around my birthday (October 24) to celebrate another year on this planet with the hope that it will give someone else another chance at life. This year is a big year for me as I am turning the BIG 4-0.
Since I was a child, I have always had an inherent need to help others, and that need gets stronger as I get older. So this year, for my birthday, I ask all of you who read this to take a moment sometime this month to donate blood, especially for those who live in areas where a disaster has recently happened. If you are unable to or can’t donate blood, donate your time to volunteer at a clinic or some other organization that works for disaster relief or mental health. Please.
Our country has reached a critical point where we need to come together and work to resolve the lingering issues that are dragging us down the dark hole in which we are currently falling. Yelling about politics has gotten us nowhere. We are all in this together. One love.
I was SO excited when Ronnie came back to join us at CFSB 2.0! He may be one of our quiet ones (which is rare at CFSB, haha!), but he always works hard and is willing to learn. Since coming back, Ronnie has put in so much work and it is definitely showing – his mobility has significantly improved, his endurance has increased, and his lifts are getting heavier. Ronnie, we are delighted to have you back and are so proud of the work you have put in and continue to put in every day! Keep it up!
Here’s what Ronnie has to say about his journey…
“I first stumbled upon CrossFit in 2013 while browsing Groupon. My best friend and I decided to try it out to get in shape before Coachella. I ended up joining the CrossFit Santa Barbara community for nearly a year but my friend quit, and I eventually quit, thinking that I wouldn’t be in Santa Barbara long after graduation. I tried working out on my own but would end up spending close to two hours a day at the gym without really gaining much progress. When I received a notification that CFSB was reopening at a new location, it made me want to get back in the saddle. New location, same great original people, plus some chill new faces.
Since my baseball career ended after sophomore year, I had felt like I had always been missing something. Not only the workout structure but the camaraderie that came from being part of a group with a collective motivation and goal. I get the same feeling from being a part of Crossfit Santa Barbara that I used to get from baseball. Everyone at this gym pushes each other to be their absolute best; not only at the gym, but in all aspects of life. This sense of community has helped me more than just the workouts. CrossFit has also helped me really get in touch with my body. I can now feel the ways in which my dietary and life decisions actually affect my body. That being said, I am making much better health choices now.
Thank you Naomi, Casey, and all of CrossFit SB because you have been my longest friends! Thank you for this great honor and all of the great things that CrossFit SB has done for me.”
PRs and What They Mean
Last week was an incredible week. We tested your strength, skill, and mental fortitude. Everyone did amazingly. As coaches, we love to witness these kinds of weeks. All the hard work our athletes have put in has really paid off. I guarantee though that these may be the last PRs some of you see for a while. I don’t mean that to sound so sinister. I mean to say that many of you are passing from your beginner CrossFitter stages to your intermediate stages. Some of you have probably been in your intermediate stage for some time now.
You may have started CrossFit anywhere from a few months to a year or so ago. You’ve been making unbelievable progress. I’m writing to tell you this isn’t just normal, it’s expected. Much of the progress you’ve made has been from honing your technique, and of course you’ve been getting stronger, too. That’s not to say that you can stop working on technique. You’ve only really just brushed the surface of the rabbit hole of movement technique. But now is the time when you need to start really becoming aware of your body because not all PRs are increases in speed or weight. Some PRs come from moving from a once modified movement to the real deal (like moving from ring rows to pull-ups, or from incline push-ups to push-ups on the floor). These don’t look like PRs necessarily because your times are probably going to slow dramatically. Other PRs come from the difference in how you feel. Maybe your Fran retest time didn’t improve, but you didn’t feel like you had to throw up. That’s a huge PR.
Also remember, that you are your own person with your own life, health considerations, advantages, and limitations. That gym frenemy that you constantly compare yourself to (whether they know it or not) is their own person, too. It doesn’t matter if they’re making PRs and you’re not. To each their own. Focus on you, and train smart. Slow progress is lasting progress.
Much Love My Friends,
Our own Cody Bahr will be holding a rowing workshop on Sunday, September 17 from 12-1pm. Cody is a 6-time medalist at the WIRA west coast rowing championships. Including championships in the men’s heavyweight pair and men’s lightweight 8, both in 2016 on the same day! He is also the 2016 US National Champion in the men’s heavyweight pair as well as a past instructor of UCSB’s indoor rowing class.
Due to the limited number of rowing machines, the class is capped at 7 participants. Cost is $65 for the public, $50 for CFSB members. Email Naomi is you’d like to know more or sign up!
I am so excited to announce the Athlete of the Month, Mr. August – David Baillargeon! His transformation is one of our biggest and most exciting. David sits most of the day studying history, which has caused his body to become tight and scrunched up over the years. After about 6 months of CrossFit, he is now able to squat and jump rope like a boss! One of my favorite things about coaching is seeing the transformations, not just weight-wise or body composition, but confidence in both how our members carry themselves and how they attack challenges. David is a perfect example of this. David, we are so excited to have you and your lovely fiancee Caitlin as part of the CFSB community. Keep up the fantastic work!
“Against my better judgment, I started CrossFit in December of last year. After years (no joke) of trying to get me to join a group fitness class and workout with her, my beautiful girlfriend (now fiancée!) Caitlin convinced me to try CrossFit after she attended some classes in Baltimore last summer. I was, of course, initially skeptical. Although I played sports growing up and in high school, I had never been much of a gym person, and from the little I knew about CrossFit, it sounded intense. I was also terribly out of shape. Even still, I decided to give it a shot. It seemed way more interesting than a typical boot camp-style fitness class, and I figured it could only help with the typical stress and anxiety that accompanies life as a graduate student (Caitlin and I are both grad students in the history department at UCSB). Plus, I could always quit. So, why not?
Well, things didn’t exactly start great. During my first fundamentals session, Naomi had us jump rope to warm up. “Jump rope?,” I thought. I hadn’t jumped rope since I was a small child. After thoroughly embarrassing myself (before we even lifted a bar!), we continued on practicing the kinds of movements and lifts I would come to learn over the ensuing months. Needless to say, I was terrible. My form was bad, I couldn’t keep my back straight, and I could barely lift the bar. Although I had always considered myself to be somewhat athletic, or at the very least coordinated, this was a different ball game. It was a humbling experience.
But, I kept at it. Thanks to the amazing support of all the coaches at CFSB (especially, in those early days, Naomi, Casey, and Janyce!), I continued working on my form one day at a time, and gradually, I got better and better. Fundamentals turned into WOD’s, and after a couple weeks of extreme newbie soreness, I started to feel stronger and more confident in my lifts. Although there are plenty of things I still need to work on (you’re next, HSPU’s…), I’m amazed by how far I’ve come over these past eight months and, in particular, how I seem be enjoying it more and more every week. Considering I never expected to try something like CrossFit (never mind that I would “like” it), the fact that I’m still going seems like something of a minor miracle. And now I can jump rope and lift things and stuff!
I go to CrossFit for many reasons. I go to get in a good workout, to take a break from the books, to feel stronger, and sometimes (still) because Caitlin makes me (although, it should be noted, I rally her to go these days too – how the tables have turned!). But, perhaps most importantly, I go because of the amazing community of folks who coach and work out at CFSB. If not for the patience and guidance of all the coaches who have worked with me, as well as the encouragement from my fellow CFSB members (noon class represent!), there is absolutely no chance I would still be doing this or that I would be having as much fun as I am doing so. You’re all the best!”
7am classes on August 16 and 18 are cancelled. Sorry for any inconvenience. 7am classes will resume on August 21!