singles

170308 - Faces of Choice City - Mike

Mike is a man of few but powerful and mostly hilarious words. He's a sneaky comedic ninja in the early hours of the morning and a true source of joy for those around him. He's grown so much as an athlete since he joined in Aug. of 2016 and it's been a blast to watch his transformation. His attitude toward learning new things and trying his best with all he attempts is absolutely admirable. "Just" Mike (as he is lovingly nicknamed by his 6am CrossFit comrades) is more than "just" anything, he's a total go-getter, a genuine team player, and one heckuva fella! 

Tell us about yourself! I was born and raised in the upper Midwest (Wisconsin and Upper Michigan), where I developed my love for outdoor recreational hobbies (camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing, skiing). After completing my undergraduate degree and working for different state and tribal agencies, I decided to go to graduate school at the University of Idaho where I received my MS and PhD degrees in Forestry. I immediately fell in love with the western US and never wanted to leave. However, the job market had other ideas in mind and after a brief stint with the Canadian Forest Service in British Columbia, I ended up back in the Midwest where I worked as a professor at two different universities. A little over 1.5 years ago I accepted a position at Colorado State University where I’m now a professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. I absolutely love being out west again, and my job is amazing! I get to teach and mentor the best students in the world. Go Rams!  Why do you "CrossFit"?   After taking an unintended 5+ year hiatus from any significant physical activity (mainly running back then), I was looking for a way to improve my physical fitness and hopefully boost my energy level and mood. I tried to get into biking and running again, but struggled with self-motivation. I had heard about CrossFit but was apprehensive of trying it for a variety of reasons (mainly I didn’t think I possessed the strength and wherewithal to do it). Anyhow, I eventually bit the bullet and scheduled an intro with Coach Michael. He immediately put my apprehensions aside, and one week later I was hooked on CCCF.     What makes "Choice City" so special? I am so happy that Choice City CrossFit was the first CrossFit gym I tried. I cannot imagine going anywhere else, and I may not still be doing CrossFit if I had started with another gym. There are so many things that make CCCF special. The coaching staff are exceptionally knowledgeable regarding fitness and nutrition and are also super supportive and encouraging. Additionally, the CCCF athletes are all wonderful. I have not met a CCCF athlete that I didn’t immediately like. There is a true sense of community in this gym; everyone is full of positivity and encouragement, and I have never felt judged about my slowly maturing abilities. In addition to getting my physical fitness back, I have developed several friendships that I hope are lifelong. CCCF is everything I was looking for and more.

Tell us about yourself!
I was born and raised in the upper Midwest (Wisconsin and Upper Michigan), where I developed my love for outdoor recreational hobbies (camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing, skiing). After completing my undergraduate degree and working for different state and tribal agencies, I decided to go to graduate school at the University of Idaho where I received my MS and PhD degrees in Forestry. I immediately fell in love with the western US and never wanted to leave. However, the job market had other ideas in mind and after a brief stint with the Canadian Forest Service in British Columbia, I ended up back in the Midwest where I worked as a professor at two different universities. A little over 1.5 years ago I accepted a position at Colorado State University where I’m now a professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. I absolutely love being out west again, and my job is amazing! I get to teach and mentor the best students in the world. Go Rams!

Why do you "CrossFit"?  
After taking an unintended 5+ year hiatus from any significant physical activity (mainly running back then), I was looking for a way to improve my physical fitness and hopefully boost my energy level and mood. I tried to get into biking and running again, but struggled with self-motivation. I had heard about CrossFit but was apprehensive of trying it for a variety of reasons (mainly I didn’t think I possessed the strength and wherewithal to do it). Anyhow, I eventually bit the bullet and scheduled an intro with Coach Michael. He immediately put my apprehensions aside, and one week later I was hooked on CCCF.   

What makes "Choice City" so special?
I am so happy that Choice City CrossFit was the first CrossFit gym I tried. I cannot imagine going anywhere else, and I may not still be doing CrossFit if I had started with another gym. There are so many things that make CCCF special. The coaching staff are exceptionally knowledgeable regarding fitness and nutrition and are also super supportive and encouraging. Additionally, the CCCF athletes are all wonderful. I have not met a CCCF athlete that I didn’t immediately like. There is a true sense of community in this gym; everyone is full of positivity and encouragement, and I have never felt judged about my slowly maturing abilities. In addition to getting my physical fitness back, I have developed several friendships that I hope are lifelong. CCCF is everything I was looking for and more.

Strength - Bench Press
5, 5, 3, 3, 1

WOD - "Jump Rope Helen" 
50 Double Unders or 100 SIngles (75 combo) 
21 Kettlebell Swings 55/35
12 Pull-Ups

170201 - Faces of Choice City - Eric

Eric has been with us for a long time. He took about a year off due to his job and life stuff but he is back with a vengeance!! His dedication to making his big return to CrossFit is nothing short of inspiring! Although he admits that getting up early is tough sometimes, he is a goofy happy go-getter in the 6am class and brings lots of smiley motivation to the morning WODs! He keenly uses social media, our current nutrition challenge, and communication with his coaches to keep himself accountable to his BIG goals! Both Eric and Kate (who is his wife AND also a bad-ass CrossFitter with us), are excellent role-models for their two kiddos! 

Tell us about yourself:
Hey I'm Eric Cooper, 34, and I'm a CrossFitter! I'm a husband to my exceptional wife, Kate (also a CrossFitter!), and a father to my two extraordinary children, Addison (6, CrossFitter!) and Bronson (2, soon to be CrossFitter!). Fort Collins has been my home for the last 22 years, Kate and I will celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary this July. For the past 2+ years I've worked for Vestas Blades in Windsor, CO and am currently a Process Instructor/Production Lead. Both of my wonderful parents, Tom and Chris, live in Fort Collins, in the same house I grew up in! Additionally, I have two younger brothers: Mike who lives in Fort Collins and Jon who is currently in Columbia, MO and welcomed his first child, Cage, in December! Family is extremely important to me and I am blessed to have so much of my family so close to me to support Kate and I as well as have incredible relationships with my kids. My faith in Christ has been a major foundation in my life since Easter of 2014 and I'm proud to say I was baptized at Timberline Church on Easter of 2015! Football has always been a major part of my family's life and I still keep the competitive drive going in a competitive 8v8 flag football league both in Northern Colorado and occasionally in Denver.

Why do you "CrossFit"?
For the majority of my life I was a very good athlete, which led me to accepting a partial scholarship to the University of Nebraska-Kearney to play football. After I left Kearney (only one year), I stayed in pretty good shape for the next three to four years by lifting weights pretty regularly and having physical jobs. When my mid-20s came around, I fell out of the physically active lifestyle and began to gain weight and lose much of what I identified myself as. Fast forward to the fall of 2013 when a childhood friend told me about the CrossFit gym he had been going to for quite a while and why he felt it would be a great fit for me. He was right. I immediately fell in love with CrossFit for the community aspect (I've never been amazing at self-motivation during exercise) and the competitive environment. All of the people around you are doing the exact same thing you are to the best of their ability and it's inspiring! How can I take a long break during the middle of a workout when I see the person next to me grinding through the pain and exhaustion? Competing is something I love and CrossFit gives me both the ability to try and beat the times/lifts of someone better than me (looking at you Stephen) as well as beat myself from a week, month or year ago. The consistent self-improvement in all areas of fitness is unmatched by anything else I've done.

Now the bad news, I stopped going to CrossFit in the winter of 2015 and took over a year off. Every improvement I had made over two years disappeared: I was tight and stiff, never felt like I had enough energy and I gained back a ton of weight (40+lbs). I had switched shifts at work to an evening shift and found every reason in the book why I couldn't start again. I get home too late to work out in the morning. I have a toddler at home and can't find a babysitter during the day. Adjusting to the new schedule is too hard, I need to rest. When 2017 started, after mulling around so many different options, I made the decision to start CrossFit again and attend the 6am class every Monday through Friday. This was difficult for me because I don't get home from work until after 11pm and have to get up for CrossFit by 5:30. I really love my sleep. Luckily my wife fully supported my decision and was excited for me to get back into CrossFit. Since Jan 2, I've been back in the gym and feel so much better about who I am and how I'm interacting with everyone in my life. Heck, I even worked out at a CrossFit affiliate in Arizona for three days while we were on vacation! I missed this lifestyle and I don't ever want to make the choice to leave again.

What makes "Choice City" so special? 
CCCF has been my home since I started CrossFit in the fall of 2013. The thing that makes CCCF the most special to me is the focus on being better as a person. While we all love to get PRs and look great in the mirror, what CCCF focuses on is functional movement; making sure we're all taught to do the movements properly so our bodies improve with strength, mobility and durability. We love sharing quality recipes with each other and are always introducing the new athletes to high end nutrition with challenges and our Facebook group! All of the coaches at CCCF bring a unique personality to the classes they teach but they are always on the same page with what the focus should be for the day and prioritizing quality of movement over speed, reps or weight. The people are amazing, I've found inspiration in everyone I've ever worked out with.

Skill - 3 Sets (Not for Time) 
2 Box Hand Walk-Arounds
8 Alt. Pistols
10 Pull-Ups

WOD - 3 Rounds (For Time) 
10 Ground to Overheads 135/95
50 Double Unders OR 75 Singles

160504 - CrossFit | Wednesdays with Hannah P.

An Introduction to Paleo for Crossfitters

Within the Crossfit community, there is a lot of talk of the paleo diet. What is the paleo diet? Here are some things it is not: an attempt to recreate a caveman diet, a weightloss diet (although weightloss may occur), or a fad. In fact, the paleo style of eating has been around for a while, although without that name. I usually explain it as eating the way our grandparents or great grandparents did, before highly processed frankenfoods became an accepted part of our diets. Back when farm fresh meats and vegetables with seasonal fruits made up most of people’s dietary habits.

Paleo in its most basic form is lots of non-starchy vegetables (think broccoli, lettuce/spinach, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc.), a good amount of animal protein (fish, eggs, poultry, red meat, etc.), some fruits and starchy vegetables (berries, applies, melon, sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, etc.) and small amounts of healthy fats like ghee (lactose free butter), olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts and seeds. Seasonings like coconut aminos (a soy free sauce) and herbs and spices are included, too! What is not included is grains (anything with flour in it, pasta, bread, etc.), legumes (beans, soy, etc.), dairy (cheese, milk, ice cream, etc.), refined sugars and artificial sweeteners (stevia, candy, many 0 calorie products), and processed foods (cookies, crackers, soda, etc.).

There are many variations in paleo including primal (paleo plus full fat no-sugar dairy), 80/20 paleo (80% paleo 20% non-paleo), and more. Many athletes also like to include protein powder and maybe some non-paleo complex carbs like whole oats or rice in addition to starchy squashes and sweet potatoes, as athletes may find they have higher protein and carbohydrate needs. Rather than a traditional diet that is meant to shed pounds quickly, paleo is a healthy lifestyle choice. Some people do lose weight on paleo, but the goal is typically to help your body optimally process foods and choose fuel that sets your body up for long term success. As athletes, we know the importance of our diets. One unhealthy meal can slow recovery or even throw off your workout the next day. 

The goal of this article is not to cause shame or embarrassment around food and our dietary habits. No one is perfect, including myself. The goal is also not to sell anything. The goal is to provide information that may help you feel, look and perform your best. If you have been wanting to clean up your diet, consider giving paleo a try. There are lots of recipes online, and you can also do simple things like baked chicken or fish with steamed plain frozen veggies.  Keep in mind, your body will probably have a two week adjustment period as it transitions to fueling off of protein and healthy fats rather than carbs. The main downside is that it does require some advance planning and cooking, as there aren’t many ready to eat paleo foods (although salad with rotisserie chicken and olive oil/vinegar for dressing is a quick paleo meal!)

I highly recommend giving it a try for 30 days. I have seen many benefits including eliminating PMS cramps, no more daily headaches or afternoon energy slumps, clearer skin, more energy, better moods with less mood swings, great numbers from the doctor, and some unanticipated weight loss. If you don’t see the results you wanted, you have only lost 30 days. If you do see the results you are looking for, you may have literally saved your own life! As always, with any questions or comments, please let me know!

-Hannah P.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you want more comprehensive help and/or explanation about this and any other diet or lifestyle change you're considering, Coach Michael (CrossFit Nutrition) and Coach Bri (in her Masters in Nutrition program) can help. We can help you weigh the pros and cons for lots of different approaches and recommend the best thing for your individual situation. 

PRe-WOD
400m Farmer's Carry 55/35

SKILL
Muscle-up work
Grip
Ring pulls
Kipping

WOD
1000m row
20 hang power cleans
100 double unders, 200 singles OR 50 over the box jumps