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Hi, I’m Kori, a 5:45 am-er.  I’ve lost almost 100 pounds and Chris asked me to write a little something so here I go.

January 1, 2013 I thought I was dying of a heart attack.  After two back surgeries, I was depressed and was letting life pass me by. Something had to change.

Merilee Andrus had been raving about Crossfit and looked amazing, but I could barely get up my stairs let alone a workout like that.  I worked out hard on my own for a few months and lost 50 pounds before tackling my first Crossfit workout.  I’ll be honest, it nearly killed me.  But I kept at it and found C2.  The trainers were so helpful, positive and knowledgeable.  The people were encouraging and supportive.  And the workouts?  Addicting! Here I am, 4 months into Crossfit.   I am fully Paleo, come to Crossfit 4-5 times a week and have lost 95 pounds.  I still can’t do a pull-up and Burpees are my nemesis.  But guess what?  I can climb a freaking ROPE to the freaking ceiling!  And, I can do a HANDSTAND push-up!  I have muscles that I have never had before.  Most important, I have my health.  Thank you Crossfit; I am 44 years old and the fittest I have ever been in my life.

KORI

Before starting my journey with C2, I was a triathlete. Well, even that may be a stretch. I “did” triathlons, and I finished/survived many races, including a 70.3 Half-Ironman (1.2 mile ocean swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.1 mile run). I was never truly competitive in any race (usually finishing in the bottom 5% of my age group), and always pursued the training and racing as a personal challenge, just trying to push myself and see what I could do. I enjoyed it, and I always felt that I was in decent shape, despite what the scale and body-fat percentage said.

But one day, in late 2011 I competed with a friend in a “Muddy Buddy” obstacle race, and realized something about the years of triathlon and endurance training; it sapped me of overall strength. After being truly embarrassed by my flailing struggles to complete the obstacles, and hanging on for dear life to a muddy rope 40ft in the air, praying I didn’t pee myself, I realized that I wanted more from what my body could do. I needed not only endurance, but power and functional strength.

I restarted my Globo-Gym membership and started hitting the weights again like I had in years past. I was familiar with the routine.. “Monday: Biceps/Back, Tuesday: Legs, Wednesday: Chest/Tri’s, etc..” but was lifting weights for show, and not function.  I continued triathlon training, and competed in a few more races with the same results. I taught spin classes, and helped coach a beginners running group. I was staying in shape, but wasn’t getting the results I really wanted. Luckily, in April of 2012, my friend Nick Tomlinson (owner of CrossFit Temecula) hired my band to play his box’s party. When I saw how fit everyone seemed, and how strong their sense of community was, the seed was planted. “Hmm… maybe I could do THIS instead?”

Still continuing my normal 5:30am run routine, I noticed a small sign on my route that said “Carlsbad CrossFit: No More Excuses.” I saw that sign every day for months before it sank in; “No more excuses.” I had made all the excuses in the world why I couldn’t/shouldn’t/can’t/won’t pick up the phone and call to get started. I finally decided to go for it, and send an email to C2 about rates, etc.

I received a friendly email back from Britt, and walked into C2 for my first time on 10/5/2012. I was immediately made to feel welcome by Chris and all the fine people at 6:00am. My first WOD was a disaster, as I was halfway through the deadlift/burpee ladder when Chris started the clock. “Oh wait, I’m halfway done… we’re supposed to start together? This is timed!? Is it a race? Why is Amy rolling her eyes at me!?” Chris very patiently explained how things worked, and took mercy on me, letting me off with good behavior and burpees-served. I walked out the box that day feeling wrecked… and I couldn’t wait to come back and try it again.

Since that day, I look forward to each workout, and have been incredibly surprised and grateful for the gains I’ve made in my strength, speed, endurance, and confidence. I could have never reached this point without the support of the best coaches around. Chris, Rick, Britt, Kip, Catina, Lindsey, and all the rest have made this journey smooth, fun, challenging, and meaningful. I’ll never forget the sinking feeling I had when I showed up one morning, and was the only person there at 6:00am with Rick. Nothing like a Marine barking at you to get fired up and keep moving (“LAND!”). I’ve been blessed to have been able to share my milestones with coaches who truly care and are excited about even the smallest PR. Knowledge, experience, and ability are the core factors of these great coaches, but being able to motivate, and connect on a personal level with each athlete, regardless of ability level, body-type, motivation, or Fran-time is a distinguishing factor that sets C2 apart. You coaches are the best. ‘Nuf said…

On top of all the PRs, 1RM, and WODs, I’ve also been stoked to have found such a friendly, supportive, and fun-loving community at C2. The social events, the meet-ups, the often hilarious Facebook posts, make the sense of connection to these athletes even stronger. I have NEVER felt judged, excluded, or ignored at C2, and have been pleasantly surprised to have made so many new friends that continue to motivate me to come back, work hard, and get better. There is no better feeling that having your fellow athletes cheer you on to push through those last brutal reps, even though you’re the slowest guy that day.  Quality human beings; my second family…

My one-year CrossFit anniversary is coming up, and when I look at my picture on the board, and am very grateful for how far I’ve come, how different I look, and how and excited I am to see what the next year brings.  THANK YOU Carlsbad CrossFit!

TRAY

I walked into Carlsbad CrossFit for the first time in September 2012. I had seen the CrossFit games on TV and thought it looked interesting. I was 34 years old, 5’ 6” tall, and weighed 160 pounds. I had been a member at 24 Hour Fitness for 10+ years. My usual trip to 24 consisted of jogging on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then using machines and free weights for 30 minutes…basically I had no idea what I was doing. I would go through stretches where I went consistently 4-5 times a week for a few months and then would barely go at all for a few months. It wasn’t fun or interesting and I wasn’t accountable for anything. I was not in good shape.

I went to my first class on a Saturday morning and did hang power snatches. Needless to say I had never done that before. Coach Catina took it easy on me and I had fun. I saw a group of people working hard together and I liked the concept so I signed up. Then I went through fundamentals and started the regular classes.

Almost everything I did for the first few months was scaled. For example, I did pull-ups using the help of a big rubber band. Honestly, the workouts are intimidating in the beginning but the coaches will help you find a scale that fits your ability. One of the workouts we did during my first few weeks was called “Mary”. Mary is as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of 5 handstand pushups, 10 one-legged squats, and 15 pull-ups. I did pushups with my feet on a box, squats holding a pole, and pull-ups with a rubber band…and I was still lying on the ground panting at the end. That was a feeling I never got at 24 Hour Fitness. I remember thinking how impossible it would be to even attempt Mary using the prescribed movements.

In the beginning I could only come to the gym 2-3 times a week because I would be too sore to come more often. But I kept coming. After 3 or 4 months I was coming 4-5 times a week. It became fun to wake up sore…it felt wrong if I wasn’t.

In January and February of 2013 the gym did a nutrition challenge. I listened to what the coaches said and decided to try a Paleo diet for 2 months. We also did a really cool thing…the first week of the challenge we performed a set of specific workouts and then we repeated the same workouts at the end of the challenge to see how much progress we made. I was very strict with the diet and went to the gym 4-5 times a week. In 2 months I lost 20 pounds and got a lot stronger. It was amazing. I felt better, slept better, and had more energy than I could ever remember. I was in the best shape of my life. I slayed the week of workouts the second time around.

I’m writing this in October of 2013. I just passed the one year mark with Carlsbad CrossFit. At my request, Coach Rick programmed Mary for my CrossFit anniversary. In 20 minutes I did 50 handstand pushups, 90 one-legged squats, and 135 pull-ups! I couldn’t do one of any of those things 12 months before. It was really cool. I had worked hard for a year and had tangible proof of my increased fitness. I’ve also settled in at 135 pounds (25 less than a year ago) and if the light hits my stomach right I have abs!

In my year with Carlsbad CrossFit something else happened that I didn’t expect. I became part of a real community. The coaches and people I work out with have become my friends. Not just “gym” friends. Real friends who hang out outside of the gym, spend holidays together, and care about each other and our families. Carlsbad CrossFit is a family business and the membership feels like one big family. It’s a place where accountants, engineers, doctors, teachers, active duty military, moms, dads, kids, dogs…anyone is welcome. Everyone is encouraging, everyone works hard, and everyone gets better.

Feel free to e-mail me andyshourds@gmail.com if you have any questions about what it’s like to be a member.

ANDY

I first started with CrossFit in September 2012 with Carlsbad CrossFit (C2). I was an athlete in high school (cross-country and tennis), I played IM sports in college, and I had a home gym. For years my wife and I have never been able to keep a routine of working out or found a time-effective (or fun) way to stay in shape. Sound familiar? Well, that all ended with C2. We started with C2 on a whim, we had heard from friends how they were enjoying it and how difficult the workouts were… that sounded like an oxymoron, but whatever we’ve been doing for the last 10 years wasn’t working, so we started. We luckily stumbled upon what might be the best CrossFit gym in the county, C2. It’s the coaching that sets them apart from the average gym: 1) personal attention, 2) genuine care for your health and fitness, 3) top-notch coaching in all CrossFit movements, and 4) attention to detail (mobility, diet, movement prep).

Now, one year later, I am in the best shape of my life, I prioritize my schedule around my workout, I’m eating healthier, have more energy, and (somehow) more time to do the things I want to with my family. Sound impossible? It’s not. The workouts, though intense, leave you with increased energy levels and more capacity to do work.

Examples from my experience:

1) When I started, I could barely muster a few pull-ups. 8 months into C2, I did 53 pull-ups (strict) over a 15 minute period… oh yeah, and I worked in 53 ring-dips during the same time period. I only stopped because there was a time limit.

2) I had never performed any Olympic-lifts prior to C2. Since then, I have continued to PR in back & front squats, power cleans, overhead squats, deadlifts and snatches. My form really improved after C2 sponsored an Oly-training class; free to C2 members. That’s the type of commitment from the trainers and ownership that sets them apart.

3) Before C2, I had a nagging recurring “injury” to my right hip-flexor. Working with the trainers and mobility coach (a certified PT), they were able to isolate the problem to my psoas muscle group during my first flare-up. Since then, and for the first time since 1996, it hasn’t been an issue despite the intense nature of the workouts. That’s something that 2 physical therapists weren’t previously able to figure out!

4) My wife is currently pregnant and has been able to attend the gym and get intelligently modified workouts to keep her in shape safely. A totally unexpected but wonderful and timely benefit to C2 is the sense of family and community at the gym. I don’t hesitate to bring my toddler with me while I work out because everyone is so friendly and outgoing, it’s a great environment for him to be in. Shortly before joining C2, my Father had passed away from Cancer. I had spent the previous 6 months in hospital rooms and driving all over SoCal as we fought it like hell. I was in a downward spiral of negativity and melancholy. C2 has been important in turning that around by supplying me a constant stream of endorphins and friendship. I am very grateful to C2 for that…

If anyone has any questions or is on the fence regarding CrossFit or Carlsbad CrossFit, please email me and I’d be happy to talk to you. Jgupta65@gmail.com

Feel free to e-mail me andyshourds@gmail.com if you have any questions about what it’s like to be a member.

JAY

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