Read this over and over and over again

Please read this over and over and over again. This great article was originally posted on October 28 by Dr. John Rusin.  The full article link is below.


No, the fitness industry isn’t perfect. But there are some downright shameful and disgraceful aspects of fitness based marketing that needs to be brought to the forefront. Nothing may be more dangerous than the popularization of female fitness based marketing that largely preys on the insecurities and the mis-information this population has been getting force fed in the main stream media for close to a decade.

It’s one thing to be ignorant to scientific facts of exercise and training, but it’s an entirely different story when false and societally detrimental ideas are starting to overtake the sound principles that should be guiding our industry. Here’s how we stop the BS in the female fitness industry and create a foundation for women, young to old, when aspiring to achieve health and wellness from coach Meghan Callaway.


1. The new age of self-proclaimed female fitness experts lack overall credibility, yet continue to spew out misleading, insulting, and often dangerous information to the masses, most of which is geared towards taking advantage of misinformed women.

2. Lets quit treating female clients like delicate little flowers that are only capable of executing sets of 100 with pink dumbbells as toning resistance. This notion is incredibly insulting. Women are strong and have unlimited physical potential that deserves to be tapped into. Toning is for printers, not strength training.

3. Don’t be ignorant to the use of photoshop and professional full body makeup art. The idea of comparing yourself on an even playing field to a Women’s Health cover is dangerous. There are truly no natural images of females out there anymore. So take this for what it is, a false marketing ploy at best.

4. Food and exercise are meant to be enjoyed. Focusing on food and cardio as a form of punishment can create a slippery slope of health sociology.  If your diet or training program isn’t sustainable for the long run, then your priorities need to be reevaluated.  Less treadmill death marches and more social and emotional engagement.

5. Being viewed as a popular and successful female athlete has become largely dependent on how well females do at selling themselves as sex symbols.  With less correlation to on-field performance, and more towards half naked Instagram shots, our future population of female athletes are being negatively influenced at younger and younger ages.

I encourage you to read the full article HERE

Read and repeat – take it in. – TRUE Strength


Born with strength

As cliche as it sounds, I am constantly amazed by how much I learn from Baylor and Nola every single day.  I am positive in their short 14 months with us, they have taught us much more than we have taught them!  

They teach intangibles such as: a deeper sense of love, selflessness, unending worry, and how to let go of control.  I’ve learned to let life happen and that control is simply not possible at all times, nor is it any fun!  They’ve taught me to live in the moment and laugh at myself and at stress.

The most striking lesson they continue to teach me everyday is that we all are born with TRUE strength within us.  It’s found deep down and true inside of us all.  Their drive to discover, explore, try, fall, get back up and laugh is unending.

TRUE strength encapsulates adventure, love, life, tears, fears, and physical, emotional, and mental balance.  It’s taken me 31 years to truly understand this… and I’m still working on putting this into practice.  

It is breathtaking that children are born with TRUE strength.  It’s after years of socialization, sheltering, and limiting creativity and possibility that people are in danger of losing their ability to pull on their TRUE strength.

I think about how my girls don’t know any limits on what they can accomplish.  They try and explore and learn and fall down and try again.  They are exercising their TRUE Strength. My goal is to foster this inner strength within them and within myself so that I can continue to help them grow and to personally be a better, stronger and healthier mother and role model for them every day.

This picture is my definition of how we all are born with TRUE strength… right now we may see a slide… the girls see an adventure… one to climb up, slip down, laugh at, bump into each other and attempt over and over again.

fearless girls

My wish for you all is to reach inside – grab a hold of your TRUE strength – help others find theirs and embrace it! 

Strength of mind

As the weights feel heavier and our bodies slow the strongest asset we have is the strength of our mind.  

We have people counting on us, people who need us, mouths to feed, words to spread, wounds to heal… what is a little tired muscle have on us??


Our mind is stronger than we often give it credit for being.  It can adjust our mood, it can draw a silver lining on a cloud… it can make or break us.  When we forget the strength of our minds, we can fall short, stop before we need to and let ourselves live at status quo.

BUT… when we take it for all it’s worth and use the strength of our mind for all the limitless possibilities… watch out.  Here we come.

No fear

No stopping us

No longer letting ourselves hold us back

When you use the strength of your mind for positive movement, there is no one and nothing to stop you in reaching your goals. 

Go get it – TRUE Strength


Suck it up

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” – Fred DeVito

What’s the point of doing something if it’s easy?  So many people take the easy road… hit that imaginary “Easy Button”  But what do you really get out of it?  A quick fix, an easy ride, and a poor sense of self and reality.  Suck it up!

So many people are challenge adverse.  

Some may see it as an embarrassment; embarrassing that they aren’t as good as the other person; I even did for a long time.  If I wasn’t as good as someone else doing a workout – I was embarrassed.  Pissed because I’m super competitive, but also embarrassed.  Embarrassed, I couldn’t hit that box jump or do as many pull ups.  Some people shy away from challenges because they want to play the “fair” card.  Imagine the worst annoying voice… “but it’s not fair…” and worse some people claim challenges are only there because other people “just don’t like me.”  Oh come on!  Suck it up!

It’s time for us to put our easy buttons down, stop running from hard work – be it in the gym, at the office or at home. And get after it – do work!  

I’ve released the sense of embarrassment I once felt when I wasn’t as good.  That emotion kept me from reality and kept me from swallowing my pride and going after the hard work.  It gave me a false sense of self and hindered my growth.

Will you really be proud of yourself five years down the road if you’ve gotten by with what’s easy, with doing only what’s the bare minimum?  Even if you work your ass off and don’t accomplish everything at least you know you’ve really put effort out there.

if it doesnt challenge you

The 2013 CrossFit Open is… Closed

Well… the 2013 CrossFit Open has officially wrapped.

My goal when the open started was to submit a score for each wod.  I knew the scores would most likely be one or two reps each wod but it was important to me to at least try my hardest, stay safe, and prove that there are no excuses to be made.

Five weeks later… five wods… five scores… no DNF’s…

I’m proud of that.

To say I didn’t leave a few wods thinking to myself… “Oh, I could have done a lot better” would be a lie.  I even had a minor breakdown after 13.2 (wod 2) because I had a score in mind and thought I could have done better.  I even considered doing it again just to prove to myself that I could.  But with the gentle reminders from those around me and the straight forward truth of my coaches, trainers, and husband I was snapped back into place remembering my goal… just enter a score and keep these babies safe.  I didn’t have to prove anything to anyone, other than myself. And what did I have to prove?  That I could do what I loved and be a part of the community I love WITHOUT being the top, the best, or the winner. I could just be a part of the family and cheer everyone on as they worked hard.

I approached this Open season and each Open WOD with the same desire to succeed as before and the same intensity and excitement as past years (minus my traditional iced coffee which I miss oh so much!). The difference this time was that I knew after my two or so reps I’d have to switch to the modifications deemed safe for me to use.  I was NOT however, phoning in my few reps and then taking it easy.

I missed the competition, I missed the training, and I missed being able to do things RX’ed, but I didn’t miss the stress and the time away from my family.  I was able to see with much clearer eyes this time around how much tunnel vision I had last year and how if I get back into training down the road how I will NOT let that happen again.  How can I guarantee that? I can’t give you a sentence or two that will leave you saying… ah I see, you’ve found the secret.  All I can say is that I’ve been blessed with the perspective of both sides and for me that is what it took to see how I want my future to be.  I can work hard and still be present in my family and personal life.

Our box is lucky enough (or just damn good enough!) to have individuals who qualified, a qualified team (ranked 38th in the WORLD), AND the #1 Masters Man in the WORLD!!!

I’m so proud of them.  Maybe even more so, I’m proud of every person who undertook this journey no matter what their score or rank.  They may have signed up with trepidation but in the end they proved to themselves that they can do amazing things – one rep at a time.  I’m proud of each person who stayed after a class to cheer someone else on.

Proud of every one who didn’t let fear stop them.  

Fear has stopped me before… it’s derailed my success… but it’s made me stronger.  I no longer fear failure, I’ve been humbled by this 2013 Open and I’ve learned there is no black and white here, no all or nothing… it’s all perspective and all balance.  No fear, balance, and no excuses!

I ended this season ranked 1,799th out of 10,705 in the Central East Region.  A little different than last year… but I’ve gained so much in this year that I’d never trade spots!

TRUE Strength

No second thoughts

What an honor!  Today my story about the upcoming journey and experience through the CrossFit Open as a mom-to-be with twins was shared by CrossFit media.

Deep appreciation to the CrossFit media team who found value in telling this story and to our amazing coaches, trainers, and fellow crossfitters at CrossFit New Albany who encourage me day in and out and make sure me and the babies are kept very safe. The CFNA crew has become family. And most importantly thank you to my family who support this journey and help keep me lifted on the tough days! Our little Itsy and Bitsy are coming into a very special and loving family!

Visit the CrossFit Game site and read many, many other amazing stories and keep updated with games news! CROSSFIT GAMES


Published on Thu, 2013-02-28 06:00
Cindy Young

“Before I was pregnant, you tend to not listen to that moment where your body tells you that you need to stop. But now, I have learned to listen.”

Last year, Megan Ellis scored an invitation to the Central East Regional. When the workouts were announced, panic set in as she became aware of the 70-lb. dumbbell snatches in Event 4.

“From the moment I read that WOD (and saw) 70-lb. dumbbell snatches, mentally I was gone,” she recalls. “I got completely off track with training and started overtraining and going downhill.”

Under the lights of the Ohio State Fairgrounds, she faltered. When she finished the round of 21 deadlifts on Diane, she moved on to the 21 handstand push-ups. There, she got no-repped as her heels pulled away from the wall. At the time cap, she hadn’t completed the minimum amount of work and didn’t go any further in the competition.

At first, she wasn’t sure how to deal with her Regional experience.

“I literally had to teach myself how to make what I could only see as failure, work for me,” she says.

Then she remembered the Open. The weekly workouts were something she enjoyed. She decided she’d sign up for the Open again in 2013.

Soon after, she learned she was pregnant with twins.

Throughout the offseason, she has been training with a growing “weight vest” and a couple weeks ago, she met her promise by signing up for the Open — at 26 weeks pregnant.

“For me, there wasn’t even a second thought to whether I would still register and compete,” she says. “I can’t express enough how awesome it feels to be in the Open atmosphere. To submit your scores and see where you are in the world. It’s just amazing and I don’t want to not have those moments just because I won’t be at the level I was last year.”

The body awareness she has learned through CrossFit training is one tool she’ll use when gauging how hard she can push in each Open Workout.

“CrossFit has helped me so much with understanding what works for my body and the limits of my body,” she says. “Now, being pregnant, I use that knowledge to my advantage. Before I was pregnant, you tend to not listen to that moment where your body tells you that you need to stop. But now, I have learned to listen. There is nothing I do in CrossFit that myself or my trainers haven’t made sure is good to go for the babies.”

The other tool is her community of trainers and doctors.

Due to the risks that come along with being pregnant with twins, such as early delivery and insuring proper growth of each baby, Ellis visits her doctors at least once every two weeks. She keeps her doctors informed about all of her CrossFit plans.

“My doctors ask me, ‘What are you up to at CrossFit these days?’” she says. “They know that it is something that I want to do. My doctors, along with the trainers at CrossFit New Albany, keep an eye on me and keep me in check. The babies are my first priorities, so I always make sure that I am safe.”

She wants to get out there, do the workouts and tell her story so others will try the workouts, too.

“If this mama and her two babies can do it, then why wouldn’t you give it a shot?”

New Year’s Reso – what?

I’ve read that within three weeks of making a New Year’s resolution over 75% of people have already broken from it and gone back to old habits.

The number 1 New Year’s Resolution year after year is to lose weight. Just move the needle on the scale to a lower number.  Sure… this can be a valid goal for some…but for many, many others why is it just a number goal?? 

Turn on your tv the week after Christmas and throughout January and you’ll hear the biggest secrets to losing weight, the one thing you didn’t do before that guarantees success, and society telling you… if you’re NOT trying to lose weight right now – something MUST be wrong with you??

Why not flip that notion and societal trend upside down and focus on living a healthier life, being stronger, looking better naked??  Yea… come on isn’t that the real reason to get in shape 🙂 

With the right combination of exercise and nutrition you can tighten, tone, and define your body; creating an image in the mirror that is smoking hot.  You can now do pull-ups, climb a rope, lift weights over your head… not those baby 5 pounders… I’m talking barbell… chalk… up and over… you’re strong and healthy.  You may step on the scale and sure… the number may be higher than before… but you are rock solid… rock out those jeans and bikini… your waist is smaller and you can see your abs, your arms have definition, your legs are shapely and you have curves in all the right places.

I personally struggle with this each year.  I have battled eating disorders and still fight hard to maintain a healthy mind and relationship with food and weight.   However, every time I walk up to the barbell and clean and jerk it, climb a rope, or get up on the rings for muscle ups, I know I would never trade my strong, healthy, full of life body, for the weakling I was at 30 pounds skinner. 

The time to make real changes to our habits and daily lives is a constant continuum.  We should continue to adapt, change, evolve and grow.  You have the control to make difference choices whether that means loosing extra weight or GAINING weight, making better food choices and/or allowing yourself to enjoy a healthy relationship with food, doing things that scare you inside and outside of the gym.

I challenge you to buck the trend… start a new one… be stronger, healthier, faster, happier, looking better… forget the number… that’s MY (all the time) Resolution!

TRUE Strength