Month: May 2018
The CrossFit Open is behind us. Thank gosh. It was horrible, it was fun and it was also an incredibly humbling and learning experience.
For myself, it was a chance to learn a little bit more about my current fitness level as this was my second Open. While I had my setbacks (WHAT WAS WITH THAT NEW HANDSTAND PUSH UP STANDARD) I finished far higher in the standings than I did last year.
For other people in our gym, it was incredible to watch weekly as people came in and threw down their best efforts, received their best scores and sometimes even PR’d.
For most of us, it was just a test to see where we were at but for at least one of us among the group, it was a chance at redemption to return to the coveted CrossFit Games.
Through qualifying for the online master’s qualifier and then subsequently the Games themselves, Jolaine Undershute is well on her way to putting a stamp on Madison Wisconsin this August. It was truly an inspiration to watch her achieve that this spring.
“I am extremely grateful to have qualified for my fifth CrossFit Games,” Undershute said. “As a single mother and a CrossFit affiliate owners, it’s challenging finding the energy to fit all the volume of training required. I took a different approach in 2017 by hiring an Olympic Lifting and gymnastics coach which paid off as all of my skills and lifts have improved. Taking a year away from Games competition also solidified how much I miss and love the sport and I thank all my supportive community of students, coaches, friends and fans.”
That being said, it was also an opportunity for the newcomers who participated in their first ever Open or were just looking to do it for fun and maybe even a cold beverage.
Lindsay McPhereson, Jaz Bernier, Nancy Hugunin, Kyra Warren, Eric Elliott, Lainey Wilson, Tammy Eccles and Taylor Lightfoot all did amazing as official participants in this years Open.
For Lindsay as a last minute registrant, the motivation was a cold beer promised to her from her workout friend Jaz that pushed her over the edge to competing.
“Motivation is key I guess,” she said. “For me, competing Rx was a way to see how I really measure up world wide. It also gave me the push to PR my overhead squat by 20lbs for 18.3.”
For someone like Nancy, this year’s Open was a chance to start fresh after joining Endeavor at the start of the 2017 Open.
“This year, I was away for the first workout but the second one was on my first day back,” she said. “What fun! It was intense, it showed me my strengths and the things I needed to work on. Each of the last three workouts were challenging but doable.
No matter the person, that was a unique element among all the members at Endeavor this Open. There were workouts where everyone had a strength they could showcase but that dirty Dave Castro will always find a way to expose you in the Open.
For many like Jaz Bernier, it was 18.3 with the hundreds of double unders and muscle ups. While she said she knows her double unders could improve, she would really like to get a ring or bar muscle up in next year’s Open.
And really that’s what this season now is all about—spending the time necessary to work on filling the holes that were exposed in last year’s Open. Even after a first place finish in the world in 18.1, Taylor Lightfoot is getting to work for 19.x.
“I loved it all,” she said. “It is such a great chance to show yourself how good you are but also find weakness that you can learn from and get better from. The open almost gives you a sense of a global community, everybody is doing the same thing you are, wanting to get better, trying something new, something maybe out of their comfort zone.
As she puts it, the 2018 Open was awesome. Almost indescribably awesome. I wonder what that means for 2019.
“It’s hard to put into words, how five workouts changed how I look at the gym and what I do there,” Lightfoot said. “I’m just happy I did and got to share it with so many wonderful, helpful,supportive, people.”
I remember the first time I walked through the doors of Endeavor Fitness after moving back here from Ontario. It was the 9 A.M class, most of the people I would learn are regulars at that time were working out. I knew of some of them by name, none of them more than that.
After exchanging a few words and a hug from Jolaine, I was met by a woman with a smile on her face who told me her name was Bailey, “like the alcohol,” she told me, but don’t call her Brandy.
It stuck with me. I knew I was already a member of the gym there and would soon be a coach too, but that automatic welcoming attitude I saw from Bailey that morning was something I would see countless more times over the next six months from her and is one of the reasons why she’s finally being recognized for being the member of the month at Endeavor Fitness.
Bailey first joined the Endeavor Fitness family in November of 2015 when her mutual friend Christine Nyuli helped bring her through the doors to meet Jolaine. A fan of powerlifting (also known as picking really heavy things up and putting them down), she was quickly surprised at the progress she made as her numbers continued to climb, asking Jolaine for tutelage on which stars she should shoot for along her fitness journey.
The answer was powerlifting.
“My original goal was to achieve a 300 pound deadlift and my secondary goal was to attend a powerlifting meet,” Yeats said.
Nearly everyday you could find Bailey on the platform inside the gym working hard to achieve those goals. There were good days when everything was going right, but there were also bad days when bars felt heavy, missed lifts were frequent, but one thing stayed the same. Her attitude never wavered. Never.
Even when she was missing lifts, she was always cheering on and motivating EVERYONE else around her.
“If you know me at all on a personal level, you know that you get what you and you don’t get upset,” she said. “I am who I am but Endeavor has certainly helped shape that. It has impacted me in both a mental and physical way that really helps show my most authentic self because when you feel good, damn you feel good.”
Despite her lofty goals to compete in a powerlifting meet, she said she had no idea she had the muscles growing inside of her nor understand her true potential for quite some time.
“I didn’t realize my true potential, in regards of strength, for a very long time,” she said, shocking herself to tears when she did things like handstands and rope climbs. I am doing things that I couldn’t ever do, even as a child.”
Entering her competition, it was a devotion to living her life without regrets saying, “I refuse to lay on my deathbed saying, ‘I wish I would have…’” that ultimately made her bite the bullet and enter the completion.
While she didn’t win the competition, she did set all time personal best on her back squat which she considered a huge personal victory and learning experience that she looks to carry forward on her fitness journey.
When it comes to her goals, Bailey is an inspiration because of the way that they extend beyond the barbell and the walls of the gym.
“I choose to do this so I can become the best version of myself, physically and mentally,” she said. “When I am the best version of myself, I am a better Mom, a better wife, a better friend…a better human being. I have big goals in my life and one of those is to create positive impact to help others become the best version of themselves, what better way to do that then lead by example.”
That’s what makes Bailey inspiring everyday as she helps forge the best part of the CrossFit Endeavor community. When it comes to newcomers who may walk through Endeavor’s doors in the future, it’s a comfort knowing Bailey will great them with open arms, a nice comment and plenty of words of inspiration each and every day.
“If you have ever thought for a second that you might want to try a CrossFit class but haven’t yet due to a fear, I say “f&$@ fear!”, why not give it a try?” She said. “It might be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made for your own well-being.”