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!
“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?
7am classes on August 16 and 18 are cancelled. Sorry for any inconvenience. 7am classes will resume on August 21!
Patience & Persistence
This is something that I’ve been really thinking about over the past few months while watching you all get your fitness on. It’s also something that I preach when coaching. No matter the level of the athlete, member, client, or whatever you liked to be called, there are two key ingredients that must be present in order to grow and succeed: patience and persistence. There are those that have the ability to pick up movements within the first 5 minutes, and there are those who may take years. What we all need to remember is that we can all improve in some way whether it’s the elite athlete focusing on consistency and increasing work capacity, an intermediate athlete adding more weight to their lifts, or a beginner athlete increasing their body awareness.
With this work comes the understanding that what we do takes time, heck, everything in life worth anything takes time. You must have patience and know that there will be days where your body and mind are aligned and your workout goes fantastically. Other days where you will feel disconnected. However, you must refuse to give up. This is where persistence comes in. You know you can be better and do better, which is why you keep coming back. Don’t let that one thing, movement, day, person get in your way. Come back into the gym and tackle that movement. You make that bar your bitch!
A memory from my competitive gymnastics days popped into my head while pondering this topic. Balance beam was my favorite event. (Who thought telling young girls that doing flips, spins, and leaps across a 16 feet long, 4 inches wide, 4 feet off the ground piece of wood was a good idea?!) It was scary, but I loved the challenge. I loved how it made my body and mind feel. I remember first learning my “series”, which was two back handsprings in a row. I can’t even count how many times I fell, or my foot slipped and I crashed to the mats, or I “crotched” the beam. There were so many. However, looking back, I never realized how brave I was to get back up on the beam to try it again. I never realized how persistent I was to master this movement.
This is how I see all of you. Your continuous drive to come in and improve your body and mind inspires me every day. Sometimes you may cry, sometimes you may get angry and throw shit, and sometimes you may just sit in a corner to have a moment with yourself, but you do not give up. So, with this month’s “Ninja’s Notes” I want you all to know how much I appreciate your dedication, loyalty, and persistence to be better people, and I am beyond grateful that you choose to do it at CrossFit Santa Barbara.
Coach Ninja xo
Ms. July – Kelly Scott!
Our latest Athlete of the Month is the one and only Kelly Scott! We love having her at our gym. She brings a level of focus, drive, and desire to learn that we as coaches love to see. Congrats, Kelly! Here she is in her own words:
“My introduction to CrossFit happened when my co-worker, Casey Nelson, began to question (or ridicule) my choice of long distance running as my primary exercise. Sure, I was dealing with knee injuries most of the time which often prevented me from playing my competitive sport of choice (tennis), but I really figured as a 40 something year old athlete I’d already seen my best years, physically speaking, and I should just be happy to be competing in races and tennis tournaments sometimes. Eventually I dropped in to a community class or two but in early 2015 I started CrossFit in earnest and was immediately hooked by total inability to do pretty much all of it! CrossFit has a unique way of exposing all your weaknesses and boy were there many. As Casey loved to regularly point out – I couldn’t even squat to parallel for the longest time!!
But I was determined to meet this challenge and over the course of the next couple of years I slowly improved, and I discovered that CrossFit made me a better and healthier athlete. With all the strength training I found I was running faster, was stronger on the tennis court, and injured a lot less. When I started to dial in my nutrition earlier this year with the help of so many at CFSB (Ashley, Julian, Janyce, Casey, Naomi) I really started to see my performance improve.
The coaches and community at CrossFit Santa Barbara have been such an amazing support to me and all the athletes who choose to get their sweat on at CFSB. I love that there’s no judgment about where you are on your fitness journey, and that everyone is encouraged not to compete against the person next to you but to just get a little bit better than you were yesterday. For me, CrossFit and weightlifting have become an essential part of my life both physically and mentally. What better way to get through a work day then to lift heavy stuff during your lunch break or after a day at the office! So, a big thanks to all y’all at CFSB for being awesome and helping me to get a little better each day. I still have so much to improve upon (ahem, gymnastics skills….), but I can now squat for real!!”
Congrats to our Athlete of the Month for June, Mr. Jared (aka ja’Red) Naito! We are so honored to have him as part of our community. Continue reading to see what he has to say about his journey and experience so far…
“My CrossFit journey began in December 2015, a few months after I returned to Santa Barbara after living in South America. No longer reliant on walking places and once again able to indulge in all my favorite (read: “not the healthiest”) foods, I found myself quickly putting on weight. Wanting to nip that trend in the bud, I knew I had to eat better and exercise.
Working at a startup, there’s never enough time in a day. After putting in long hours at the office, it can be difficult to find the motivation to work out. The problem with the activities I liked was that they took too long to get a good workout in or they just didn’t work me hard enough. I didn’t want to ride my bike for hours just to get home and have to go to sleep. I wanted something more intensive than climbing. Then I heard about CrossFit.
Admittedly, I was skeptical. CrossFit has a stereotype – one I wasn’t especially keen on. I wasn’t a bro looking to get jacked; just a guy with a slowing metabolism who wanted to get back into shape. But my roommate, coworker, and friend Ryan wanted to join a gym, and I figured I’d be held more accountable if I worked out with him. The concept of HIIT workouts was intriguing to us both, so we signed up and scheduled our movements classes.
I remember my first day at the Gray facility. Julian was going ape shit per usual, people were hucking themselves up and over bars, and everyone was sweating and breathing hard. It looked intense – maybe too intense. But you have to give things a shot, so I did. I will say that the first few months weren’t all that enjoyable. I’ve always been a competitive person, and though I can’t say I’m athletically proficient, I like to think I’m coordinated and hold my own. But with CrossFit, I struggled; my form was never quite right, my timing was always a bit off, and I would finish dead last in most workouts. In most environments, I would have been dejected and demoralized. But not at CFSB.
Looking back, I probably wouldn’t be doing CrossFit today had it not been for the extraordinary coaches and community at our box. Though I was constantly being corrected, criticisms were constructive and tips were encouraging. Fellow members were always there to support and encourage me to do things I didn’t know I could do. I’m still getting those corrections and I’m still receiving that encouragement, and that’s why I love CrossFit so much.
To me, it’s not about getting huge. It’s not about having a six-pack, lifting more than the next person, or being #1 in workouts. In my eyes, CrossFit is about continually striving to be better than you were the day before. There’s something about working your ass off for an hour every day to discover you can do things you didn’t know you could the day before that is immensely satisfying. And when you lift, sweat, swear, tear, fist bump, and drink beer with friends, you’re always looking forward to the gym. So thanks everyone! I couldn’t ask for a better place or group of people to spend my time with.”
Jared, we are so proud of you and your work ethic, and the determination to grow every day. Congrats and we love ya!
The gym will be closed Saturday, 5/27 – Sunday, 5/28 for the California Regionals in Del Mar, CA. We are so very excited to be down there to support our own Julian Martinez, who placed 11th in the SoCal Region.
On Memorial Day, Monday, 5/29, we will be holding one workout at 10am. The WOD will be “Murph” in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005.