Coaches Corner with Sades: You ain’t cool, ‘til you pee your pants (Part 1 of, like, 3?)

Alert: This is gonna be the first of a few posts, because there’s a looooot of information out there about this topic and I don’t want to immediately lose you by sheer word count. I want to lose you the right way: you being bored.

Let us proceed.

I wanna get a few things straight before I dive into this very riveting topic about pee, pelvic floors, and pressure management:

  1. Growing and birthing a human is a damn miracle and all women should be given a lifetime achievement award.
  2. Sometimes we experience incontinence at 70 years old because of natural wear and tear, and sometimes we experience it at 20 years old because we’re strong and active but misled on how to stay safe through said activity. It just be like that sometimes.
  3. Peeing or leaking during exercise or exertion is common, but it is not normal. (I wrote about this last year some re: pregnancy, peep it.)

But contrary to popular belief, peeing while you workout (or sneeze or cough or generally exist) isn’t some rite of passage, or badge of honor for lifting heavy ass weight. It’s actually a sign of poor pressure management and/or a weak pelvic floor (which is different than pelvic floor dysfunction), and — gasp! — this issue isn’t exclusive to women who birth humans (though they are the leaders of this pack); both men and women of all shapes and sizes and fitness backgrounds can experience symptoms of a weak pelvic floor — and those symptoms can be caused by a whole heap of things.  

So what exactly is a pelvic floor and what is it responsible for and why should I care holy crap you’ve said the words “pelvic floor” so many times get to your point? Our pelvic floor is comprised of a hammock or dome-shaped group of muscles and ligaments located within the pelvis, and beyond bladder/bowel control and supporting women’s bodies during pregnancy and birth, our pelvic floor is responsible for working with the rest of your core to stabilize and protect your spine during everyday life, as well as exercise. So when we experience weakness in our pelvic floors we see incontinence as a common symptom — but as active humans who run and jump and push and pull and throw weight around, we may also be putting our spines at risk with our weak little muscle hammocks.

So, how do you know if you have a weak pelvic floor? Let’s run through a quick checklist. Do you regularly pee or leak when you:

  • Sneeze, cough, or laugh
  • Jump (single unders/double unders, box jumps, etc.)
  • Run (either during sprint sessions or long distance)
  • Lift heavy weight or max out a lift
  • Perform an explosive movement where you have to land at the bottom of a squat (cleans, squat snatches)

Among quite a few other more severe/personal symptoms. If you said yes to any of those bullets, you may have a weak pelvic floor. And guess what? It doesn’t go away on its own and — similar to all the other muscles in our bodies — if we don’t use them, we lose them. Just like we have to rehab a knee after ACL surgery, we have to treat this as a weakened body part and treat it with a rehab program.

Okay, tell me how.

I’d argue that the best thing we can do to help identify or mitigate pelvic floor problems — or even solve some that already exist — is to first see a pelvic floor physical therapist.

Yes, that is a real thing.

These therapists help you uncover the what and why of your pelvic floor weakness. They zero in on when it happens most, what you can do to prehab (“prehab” in that they are preventative exercises/measures given if, say, you are trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant), rehab those muscles, and give you tactical ways to better manage your breath and internal bracing/pressure during workouts. I’ve been seeing the folks at Sullivan Physical Therapy and highly recommend them.

If seeing a medical professional is not in the cards for you right now, or you feel like you want to try some exercises on your own first, OR you aren’t necessarily experiencing weakness and you just want to be preventative — let’s set up a time to meet so we can walk through your symptoms and figure out a training plan to get those muscles right, and get ‘em tight.

You know where to find me.

Stay tuned for the next installment of this series, coming at some point, where we’ll talk about breathing strategies during heavy lifts and high intensity workouts in order to better manage the pressure in our core/midline and not dump all the work on our pelvic floors.

Coaches Corner with Hroch: Shiny New Programs

Guys! In case you missed it, there’s a lot of exciting stuff coming up in the new year! I’m sure there are a lot of questions about everything, so I’m going to answer as many of those as I can in this blog.

First up: Bring A Friend Week! (January 7-11)

I’m sure you have lots of friends you’ve talked about CrossFit to, tried to get to join you at a Community WOD, Wodder to Wine, Barbells and Bourbon…etc…and they just haven’t come because “they’re intimidated”.

Well. From January 7th-11th, you are in luck. During this week, workouts will be scaled down (to Community WOD style…but just tell them it’ll be easier) and we want you to bring everyone you know! They will be able to come to any and all classes they want that week.

The goal of this is to introduce our non-CrossFitting friends to this sport that we love so much. We would obviously love for them to come to love it as much as we do and join us forever. The more friends in the gym, the better, right? Send them this link, have them select which class they would like to join, and use the code BAF2019.

Best part about this? Perks for YOU! For every one of your friends that signs up to be a member of Renew, you will get a $50 gift card to the athletic apparel brand of your choice! Nike, Reebok, Lulu, Whatever you’d like!!

So, the more friends you bring, the better chances you have of getting some free dollars. Come one, come all!

Second up: Class Pass (January 21st – February 16th)

You’ve probably heard of “Class Pass” before — you know, that program where you sign up for a monthly membership and get to try a variety of classes and gyms around town.

Well, we’re taking a page out of a similar book and doing our own version within Renew! The Class Pass is your ticket to attend a variety of special classes that focus on developing a variety of skills to help you grow as an athlete. This semester’s classes will laser in on three key areas: gymnastics, aerobic capacity, and mobility. Three suspiciously important aspects of the 2019 CrossFit Open. Here’s what we’ve got this semester:

  • Gymnastics with Coach Becky Wickes: Saturdays @ 10am
  • Flowga with Andi Lozano of The Mobile Athlete: Tuesdays @ 6:30am, Sundays @ 6pm
  • Aerobocap with Coach Justin Hroch: Wednesdays @ 6:30 pm, Saturdays @ 8 am

So, there are multiple classes of each every week, giving you lots of options. So how do you actually attend these? You will pick one of the packages below using this link!

Class Pass Memberships (priced per month)

  • 1x Week – $59
  • 2x Week – $115
  • 3x Week – $169
  • Unlimited – $199

We know Open Gym is hard to get to for everyone, so we really wanted to create an opportunity for more learning and practice in a specific area. We are really excited about these weeks and can’t wait to see everyone’s improvements!

Lastly, Reboot! (January 14th – February 22nd)

We have been wanting to start a bootcamp style class for a while now, and we are finally doing it! Led by our very own Chelsea Montgomery!

This class will be a good middle ground for people who don’t want the intimidation of CrossFit, but are tired of their own boring gym routines. Chelsea is a very seasoned bootcamp trainer for a camp that must not be named, and is going to do an incredible job with this!

If you have any friends that won’t come to CrossFit (or Bring a Friend Week), this is a really great option for them to amp up their fitness. If you know anyone interested, send our way!

That’s it for now! We are all really excited for each of these things! So, get your friends amped for BAF Week, be thinking about how many and which classes to come to for Class Pass, and send anyone interested in Reboot to us!

Coaches Corner with Becky: WTF is Hungry Butt?

What the heck is a hungry butt and why do my coaches keep yelling that at me?! Well… maybe you know by now, but if you don’t, I’ll tell you: a hungry butt is a butt that is squeezed so tight it gives you a little wedgie. Your butt cheeks are literally eating your pants. So if you don’t got a wedgie, you ain’t tryin’ hard enough.

You’ve probably noticed that we’ve done a lot more hollow body work and things stemming from the hollow body position ever since I attended that lovely gymnastics certification just a few short months ago. And whether I’m coaching your class or working out in your class, I’m probably yelling “knees together, feet together, butt tight!” Is that just because I went to a certification and got really excited about the hollow position? I mean, I am excited and it was an awesome certification but… no!

It’s because I want you to be a better athlete.

We’re doing a lot of hollow body stuff because that creates tension everywhere in your body and requires that you use your core to its fullest potential. Typically, we don’t like to use or develop our core because it’s not exciting or sexy and we would much rather fly to the top of a pull-up bar in a bar muscle-up by thrusting our hips to the sky and chicken winging our way up, or for the majority of people, we’d rather deadlift 1,000 pounds.

But, I want to offer you three reasons why you should do the unsexy, hungry butt stuff instead.

  1. Gymnastics makes your core stronger, and with a stronger, better utilized core, you can improve literally every other thing you do in CrossFit (and life!). This means pull-ups, toes-to-bar, muscle-ups, yeah, but it also means front squats, power cleans, and even those precious deadlifts!
  2. A stronger core also means you’re more than likely being safer. Always complaining about your tweaked shoulder that you’ve been rolling and rolling but it’s not getting better? Or that chronic low back pain? Start using more core and stop relying on your limbs to get the work done and you’ll take some of the burden off those baby shoulders (and also ask your coaches what you should do to make it better and maybe go to Airrosti).
  3. Gymnastics promotes better body awareness. The load you are moving in gymnastics is your own body, which means, you need to know how to move your body through time and space in the most efficient way possible. Better body awareness means better lifts and better times.

As always, everyday you come into the gym is an opportunity to improve. If you come into the gym and you do everything on the whiteboard that day with intentionality, you’re going to see results. I guarantee it. It has been so exciting to hear people say how they have seen “all this hollow body work” improve their gymnastics, their lifts and how they feel it translating to lots of other stuff. Those results are why I do my job, and why I give it everything I’ve got week after week — because I want you guys to always improve and I want you to be excited about your own fitness. Keep up the good work, fam.

All my truest love,

Coach Becky

 

Coaches Corner with McKenzie: Let’s All Be Friends, Please

Take a second and think back to your first day at Renew. Hopefully, you were introduced to the class, asked questions about yourself, your job, your hobbies, and maybe a few things in between. In the days following, you were probably followed up with by a phone call from Justin, and one or two emails from yours truly. We want to know how class went, tell you about regular rhythms at the gym, and probably friend you Facebook before ever actually meeting you (because I’m trying to add you to the Facebook page….just accept my request, okay?).

Why do we do all of this? Y’all… part of my job is literally to make you feel welcomed into the community, nay, family that is CrossFit Renew. I don’t care how much experience you have, walking into a large group of fit strangers throwing around weight can be incredibly intimidating. Even if it’s just an email or phone call, we want you to feel like you have some kind of friendship with at least one human in the gym. And it’s extra cool if that one human is someone on the staff, right??

If you’ve passed that point of feeling new with us, that’s great! I hope you’ve made some solid friendships in your regular classes. But more than that, our goal is to have all of us be friends outside of that one hour class, a few times a week. There’s so much more to every person at Renew than we can see during a workout. Yes, the vulnerability of being exhausted and struggling together is very bonding, but our goal is to create an environment where y’all want to get Juiceland after class together. Or invite us to your birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, dinner, or other celebratory events! We want to help you move from an apartment to your first home, and we want to be there to watch your kids and walk your dogs. Building those friendships inside the gym translates to friendships outside of the gym and that translates to sharing life with each other.

And that’s what we want. We want to know about your big accomplishments so we can celebrate with you, heck yes! But we also want to know about hard things in your life so we can help or even just share in your grief. It’s important, y’all. I’ve sobbed like a child on more than one occasion in the middle of the gym to a coach or member that genuinely cares about me. Those are the times where I was most grateful for this place and the people in it.  

Being an adult is hard sometimes, but it’s less hard with quality people to share it with. If you do CrossFit, you either love it, or you’re a psycho who puts yourself through it for no reason. When Renew was founded, the goal was to combine an activity that we love, with the people that we love.

If you’re new, you probably can’t relate to this very much yet, but it is our hope that you will be able to very soon.

Also, if you’ve only gotten emails from me up to this point, hello, I’m McKenzie, and I’m really excited to meet you.

Coaches Corner with Russ: Work-Life-Workout Balance

Today I want to talk about work/home/gym life balance. Just like early this year when I overloaded you with GIF’s in the “Why Do the Open” article, prepare yourself to be overwhelmed like Gerry Flynn in a tank top store.

If you’re anything like me, it is easy to get caught up in the day to day. The days go by and before you know it you’ve been working, hanging out with family/friends, and working out and then you look up and it’s 2025 and robots are cleaning our homes and celebrities run the world. Or maybe you look up and the week has flown by and…wait…robots are cleaning our homes and celebrities run the world.

Either way, the problem here (among other things) is that it’s easy to lose sight of keeping balance in your life. Some weeks I feel like I am in the gym too much and don’t see my son as much as I would like. Other weeks I get overloaded with work and I get to workout once or maybe twice during the week. If this happens every now and then it’s not a big deal, life happens. But if you consistently find yourself in this place it might be time to find another approach.

If you think your work and home life is pretty stable, but it’s really hard for you to get to the gym, try changing up your schedule. Or try committing with someone to wake up and meet them there. If you find yourself in the gym too much and work/home life could use a little work, you might rethink your workout routine. Obviously we want you here at the gym as much as possible, but not at the cost of missed time with people at home! Or maybe it means rearranging when you come up.

In the end, the point of me telling you this is to get you to take a big picture view of how you balance your time. I can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining your physical fitness, but at the same time don’t sacrifice needed time with family/friends to get that 8th workout of the week in. We can all work towards the aerobic capacity of Justin Hroch, the raw strength of Zac Lozano, and the height of Brett Myles, but 12 hours in the gym every week to get there probably isn’t worth it. Also don’t tell me I’ll never be as tall as Brett, you’ll crush my dreams. Don’t be a dream crusher.

And just because I wanted to add one more GIF, I leave you with what I picture to be McKenzie as she reads this to post on the Renew Blog:

 

Coaches Corner with Brett: Discipline in Everyday Life

Ever been in the middle of a workout and just wanted to quit? Ever actually quit? I have. I remember multiple workouts where I was just over it; I didn’t want to finish. Most of the time I just rode it out until it was over, and a couple of times I tapped out and just stopped. But the times where I dug my heels in and fought through and pushed to the end… I remember laying on the floor feeling so proud of myself. Conversely, I can remember getting into my car after a workout where I threw the towel in because it was too hard, and I felt like I’d let myself down. It’s in those moments that the lies pour in…

“Why even try if it’s so hard?”

“It happens, people quit all the time – big deal”

“Is CrossFit working for you?”

Yada yada yada… you get the point.

Here’s the deal though, that crap bleeds over into the rest of life! Like say, when I’m part of a gym-wide nutrition competition, and I really want a cookie at a party, if I’m the guy who quits in the gym then I’m definitely the guy who will quit on his nutrition. Or even at home! When the toys are everywhere (looking at you, Finley) and the dishes are piled up and the laundry isn’t folded. If I quit putting in the effort at home, what message does that convey to my wife and rest of my family?

The people who have achieved anything in life have flat out stuck with it; put their heads down and done the hard work of living the disciplined life.

Let’s take Tom Brady for example. The skinny 6th Round draft pick out of college that the New England Patriots took a flyer on in 2000? The quarterback who was (is) very unathletic, has become one of the greatest football players in the history of the NFL.

How? He disciplined himself daily. He never quit, even though he may have wanted to. Even though there were plenty of opportunities to do so.

Anyone remember Jamarcus Russell? Probably not, but he was the #1 overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. They gave him $31.5 million in guaranteed money to play QB before he ever played in a real game.

But leading up the 2010 season, he was reportedly pushing 300lbs, and lacked work ethic on and off the field. He was released after just three seasons. With a little discipline, he could have secured tens of millions of dollars for himself in a few years, while getting to play a sport he loved for work.  

Listen y’all, the difference between being the girl who gets where she wants to be in this journey of health and fitness and the guy who doesn’t, tends to boil down to this: are you willing to put in the work?

Are you willing to wake up early? Are you willing to say no to sugars and processed foods and fast food? Are you willing to bust your ass in the gym several times a week? Are you willing to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get the sleep your body needs? Have you mentally prepared yourself for the marathon that it’ll be?

It’s going to require a daily resolve to be that person. You have the power to make all of those decisions. In two years, do you want to be fitter and healthier and stronger? Then start today. Not tomorrow. Not Monday. Not on the first of the month. Start today. But if the next two years is filled with a lack of resolve and a propensity to quit, you’ll only be putting distance between yourself and where you want to be. And you’ll look back with nothing but regret and disappointment.

So the next time you want to quit on a workout, or sleep in, or choose fast food over the meal prepped food you already have stocked, or let excuses run the gamut… it’ll be up to you. This is your life. And you only get one.

Hot Tip: Find a person or a group of persons who can pursue these daily disciplines with you! A Lone Ranger is a Dead Ranger.

Let’s do this thing though, like for real. Stop playing games and do whatever it takes. The Renew Crew is here for you and rooting for you!

Love,

Coach Brett

Coaches Corner with Sadie Flynn: It’s the remix to nutrition, hot and fresh out the kitchen

I remember the first time I felt insecure about my body. I was in 7th grade, and we were heading out to the soccer fields to practice one afternoon after school.

At the time, Marshall Mathers’ cult classic inaugural hit “Slim Shady” was at the top of the charts. Cupping their mouths like juvenile hand megaphones, my teammates would loudly sing: “Would the real Slim Sadie please stand up?” because they had just learned what a rhyme was and everyone needs a junior high soccer practice walkout song. Whenever the lyric beckoned me, I would go from sitting or squatting to standing with my arms outstretched like a proud hype man signaling the crowd because I lived to please. Thankfully though, the Team Mean Girl was there to sit my ass right back down:

“Slim Sadie… except she’s not slim,” she said as she snickers and sneers and reapplies her Dr. Pepper-flavored Smackers chapstick.

From then on, I became hyper aware of my body. Noticing that none of my friends shared the same sizes as I did, didn’t experience the same rolling situations I did, and didn’t have anything bouncing after them while they ran to lunch. I began to observe what they were eating, and kept careful accord of what and how much I ate. It was a mental and emotional burden that wholly consumed me. Pun intended.

This burden would stay settled on my brain all throughout junior high, high school, and college. I’d create asinine justifications in my head that I thought were going to make my body better, by whatever dumb standard. If I was going to be in a swimsuit, I made sure not to eat before or during said swim event. I never got dessert, soda, or seconds unless someone else did. I never ate breakfast because I didn’t want to go to school “full”, and lunches were paltry. As a result, I’d gorge at dinner because I was rightfully starved. Diet pills were a cupboard staple, and Sugar Free Monster nearly replaced water because I learned that caffeine was a diuretic. College was more of the same, plus alcohol. If I knew I was going to go out and party, I’d skip dinner. Pre-game nutrition was light or non-existent because I didn’t want the weight of nutritious food bogging me down as I ran for 90 minutes. I had no idea what real nutrition was, or how to fuel my body properly — even as a D2 collegiate athlete at a world-renowned small, private university in West Texas.  I just knew that not eating was better than being fat. Sades was the name, and chronic food deprivation was my game.

It wasn’t until I got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that I started to get a grip on my drunk and disordered eating. After my diagnosis, I read, I researched, I studied, I experimented. I learned what food could do for me not what I thought it’d do to me; I learned what macronutrients were, what foods exacerbated my disease, what balance looked like, what metabolic damage was, and how a dysfunctional diet contributed to like 99.999% of my mental, emotional, and physical issues.

Sleepy and sluggish? Eat more food.

Underwhelming workouts? Eat food sooner.

Skin breaking out? Eat better, whole food.

Achy, bloaty, generally irritated at your boyfriend and roommates? Eat different food.

Sayings like “food is medicine” and “I’d rather take vitamins now than drugs later” are pithy as shit, but I am proof that they are real and true.

So when Justin Hroch and Haley Hall — a real life Registered Dietitian — ambushed me at the gym one day and asked if I’d be interested in developing a nutrition program for Renew, my initial thoughts were, “I am in no way fit for this.” I am still very much a work in progress, and don’t have any abbreviations at the end of my name. But the more I chewed on it (I literally have food puns for every pomp and circumstance do not challenge me), the more I realized that an effective nutrition program isn’t about being a faultless example. Rather, it’s about teaching truths, providing valuable tools and resources, and delivering unwavering accountability and motivation for any human working toward their fitness and wellness goals.  And an effective nutrition coach is someone who listens well and is trustworthy; someone who can sort through all the myths and fads and fake food news out there and give real, attainable, and sustainable counsel — without judgment. And I am definitely fit for that.

So if you’re a human with goals and needs surrounding nutrition, let’s chat. Because nobody should live their life confined by the shackles of food misinformation and physical frustration.

With love and corn dogs,

Sades

To learn more about Refuel, our aptly named nutrition program, check out our shiny new section of the website. Or, if you’re interested in setting up a nutrition consultation or just want someone to email, get at me: sadie@crossfitrenew.org.

And with that I leave you with the funniest health memes and gifs the internet has to offer:

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

So, if you read last month’s blog, you heard from Hroch that I have stepped into the role of Head Coach at CrossFit Renew and I am SO THRILLED!

If you didn’t read last month’s, then you’re probably not reading this either because you don’t care about our newsletters and just want a place to work out everyday and that’s all, and that’s okay, but I would still like to know you and everything about your childhood and how your parents parented you and how that has shaped you into the person you are today BUT that’s for another day and a different blog.

Today, we’re talking about what’s going on in the gym. You may notice a few changes here and there, and I want to tell you why. I’ve been told once or twice that I take things too seriously in life, but I like to think of it more as being intentional. I’m serious because most of the things I do have been picked apart in my brain in more detail than the average individual would enjoy or care to do. It’s a little obnoxious what goes on in my head, but sometimes it’s helpful. Like, for instance, leading a CrossFit coaching staff to deliver the best possible experience for our members.

Meaning, every detail of what gets put into a one-hour class has been thoroughly thought through; from the warm-up, to the time it’s going to take all you jokers to put plates on your barbell, to the newly instated cool-down laps that you’re growing to embrace. It’s all intentional because we want to give you the best fitness experience we possibly can, not just because we want to be the best, but because our staff is made up of awesome, caring, thoughtful people who want what you do in the gym to impact the rest of your life, both today and in the future. So, if Sadie yells at you to get lower in your squat, it’s not just because she likes to yell or is super passionate about the squat (though, that is also appropriate) but it’s because we want you to take your joints through the full range of motion that they were designed to do to prepare you for what’s outside of the gym. If you can’t squat past parallel now, it’s not going to improve when you’re 75 and you fall on the floor and cannot stand up because you literally can’t get your knees and hips in a position to do so. We don’t want that!

Our programming is designed to be advantageous to a 22 year old collegiate athlete and 65 year old retiree. I may have different reasons for wanting you both to get upside down and work on some version of a handstand walk, but I promise you, there IS a reason, and if you ever want to know why, just ask! I’ll tell you more than you want to know, and will make sure our coaches do the same

In addition to some things looking different in class, we’re also working on ongoing training for our coaching staff! I’m really pumped about this as well because there is a wealth of knowledge out there about CrossFit and its methodology and any movement you can think of, and researching it so that I can teach it to our coaches gets me FIRED UP about fitness and the way CrossFit accomplishes it. There’s a lot of really smart people behind this sport. You’ve probably felt a similar spurt of energy in your own profession after attending a really great conference for continuing education, and that revived passion then makes you better at your job! That’s what I want for all my coaches, too. To be the best coach they can be for you guys, they have to be excited about CrossFit and in a place where they’re hungry to improve. Some of the ways we’re doing that is by running through drills together, reading lots of articles, doing online courses, and more!

The point is, these changes are because I care. I care about our coaches, I care about CrossFit, and, perhaps most importantly, I care about you guys! Every day, the coaches collectively make decisions about how to give you the best experience and make you the fittest, healthiest versions of yourselves — and I hope it shows. Again, if you have any questions about why we do what we’re doing, or why it’s relevant to you, please do not hesitate to ask.

We’re here for you, and happy to chat!

See you under the big ass fan,

Becky

Coaches Corner: Head Coach Updates with Hroch

Hey Renew Crew!

I know, I know — it’s hellishly hot. But the fan is on its way (seriously, it is). So let’s all practice some mental toughness while we wait for some Big Ass reprieve, and thanks for your continued patience!

But I’m not here to listen to you complain talk about fans. I’m here to talk about Becky Wickes.

Wait, sorry — I’m here to talk Becky Wickes, Head Coach!!

Don’t worry! Brett isn’t going anywhere. Everyone’s favorite Tall Guy is still on staff and still going to share the wonders and joys of CrossFit with you all. Turns out, having a house and a baby and a wife and a full time job and friends and all the life things can pull you in many directions. And fortunately for us, Becky has no life!

Just kidding, she does. And it’s Renew.

Just kidding, it’s not. But Becky is crazy passionate about CrossFit and the Renew Crew, and possesses the skills, capacity, and energy to really thrive in this role. I am confident that she is the perfect person to help our gym flourish. With Becky at the helm, get ready for elevated class and coaching experiences, more well-rounded programming — with performance tests and benchmarks — and next-level coaching, as she is taking on the task of helping each of us coaches, well, be better coaches.

Becky, a newly minted CrossFit Level 2 Trainer, has been with Renew since nearly the dawn of its time, and cares deeply for our community and mission. If you’ve met her, you know she invests in the people around her, and makes it her responsibility to see to it that her peers are being the best versions of themselves — and she’s exactly the type of person we want captaining our membership.

So next time you see Becky, first let her give you that technical correction, and then give her a congratulations! Well deserved, Becky Wickes!

Now leave me alone about the fan.

Love,

Hroch

Coaches Corner: McKenzie’s Story

Sports have been a part of me for as long as I can remember. My mom swam in college (and is in the Auburn swimming hall of fame…what…). My grandfather swam in college and was no less than OBSESSED with it for the rest of his days. My dad played baseball for a long time. My sister currently swims for Bama. And, as a lot of you know, I was a competitive gymnast for 8 years. 20+ hours a week at practice was very normal to me. I was homeschooled for middle school and all my friends were girls in leotards (super cool, I know). I grew 3 inches in a summer, tanked my last season and was generally burned out. I quit gymnastics and, per my family history, swimming was the next logical step.

All of this is great, but I went to college as a NARP (non athletic regular person) and my only option for working out was the gym with the machines and treadmills and bros taking selfies as they do curls. A few months into school, I decided to see what it was all about.

I walked in, confidently swiped my student ID, took a lap around the floor trying to figure out what any of the machines did and landed on a treadmill between two sorority girls with full faces of makeup. It was a self propelled treadmill, so obviously I decided to sprint. I tripped at full speed, caught myself within an inch of my life, gave the sorority girls simultaneous heart attacks, got off, walked out, and didn’t return for the rest of the year.

The next time I walked into that nightmare of a place was sophomore year with a friend who had been raving about CrossFit and I wanted to give it a shot. The only skill I remember doing was wall balls because it was a hard med ball and it bounced off the wall and smacked me in the face, glasses and all. It was the hardest workout I’d ever done, I wasn’t sure if my legs were going to carry me back to my dorm 500m away, but I was forever hooked.

I’ve always done individual sports, but I love the team aspect of CrossFit. You’re working against yourself, but you’re competing with others while also encouraging them as you all suffer and sweat together. It’s constantly varied, so I’m never bored. It’s challenging and technical. As an ex-gymnast, I love the technicalities of skills like the squat snatch. How can I move my body to be the most efficient and lift the most weight? I love being upside down and sometimes am more comfortable on my hands than my feet. I love swinging on the rig and being up high after a muscle up. I can climb ropes because I want to, AND most of the time I’m allowed to use my legs. That was a luxury I didn’t often get as a gymnast.  It all just tosses me back to my glory days, challenges me, and pushes me to do new things.

More than that, it comes with a group of people that you get to become friends with. Yes, I love CrossFit itself, but I love the people that come with the sport. They’re ready to work hard. They’re there because they want to be. They get to forget the stress of work or home or kids or whatever it might be for that one hour. You get to see people at their best and their worst (sometimes in the same hour) and you get to love them in whatever state they’re in.

I love CrossFit. But I love people the most. And I freaking love the people of CrossFit Renew.

That’s all I’ve got for you.

McKenzie